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magicJack Review

Updated: August 15, 2016

Bottom Line

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Poor customer service, technical support
  • Call quality depends on Internet service
  • Conflicts with other hardware, software
  • Computer must be on to receive or place phone calls
Our Analysis
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That's fine in theory, and the YMax magicJack works perfectly well on a nice, clean computer -- which is how lots of professional reviewers test and why initial reports were so positive. However, most real-world computers are loaded with all sorts of software and hardware, and few are configured perfectly. That can lead to a host of problems that can befuddle even technically adept owners, let alone typical consumers.

Fueled by its positive initial reviews and hyper-aggressive marketing campaign in as-seen-on-TV infomercials, many people have been persuaded to buy YMax magicJack. That's led to a dramatic increase in the need for competent technical support to help the non-tech-savvy get their magicJacks up and running. However, reports widely say that YMax has been unwilling or unable to adequately meet that demand. That's narrowed the base of happy users mainly to those comfortable with configuring their computer's operating system, software and security settings on their own or with minimal help. It's also left many others unhappy.

Other issues have also led to plenty of discontent. Like any VoIP device, call quality depends heavily on the strength of your Internet connection, and downloading a file or streaming media online while calling can muck things up even more. Additionally, your computer must always be on for magicJack to place or receive calls. Not all area codes are available; if yours is not, it could make your number a long-distance one for all inbound calls, including local ones. SpotCoolStuff.com notes that once YMax magicJack's software is installed on your computer, there's no easy way to uninstall it, a comment we've also seen echoed elsewhere. We've also seen numerous complaints about the company's billing practices.

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