The Magic Jack web site doesn’t make it easy to find out what the magic Jack price is for their equipment and service plans, so it seems appropriate to put up a page here with pricing. Hopefully it will save you from hunting for that information, and provide a few notes about selling or buying used MagicJacks.
The ‘standard’ magicJack (must be plugged into your computer) is still available at various retailers, and sells old stock for $49.95 (current Amazon pricing, includes one year of phone service). The unit is about half the size of a deck of cards, and plugs into a USB port on your computer. MagicJack also makes two upgrades:
2012 magicJack Plus, which can operate without a computer. This version is no longer sold by magicJack, but is available at various online retailers; the current Magic Jack price at Amazon pricing is $69.95, inclusive of 1 year of service. Note: although you can operate the magicJack Plus without a computer, you still need to plug it into a computer to register it. Include shipping and taxes.
2014 magicJack Plus, which also eliminates the need for the computer. The magic Jack price listed on their site is $89.95 – but that includes only six months of service. Although you can register this unit while it is plugged into a router or modem, you must complete the registration process from a computer. Further, the magicJack dongle and the computer must be on the same network when you register it – so there’s really no benefit in the registration process. Lastly, the newest magicJack dongle does have some additional ports – but at this time they don’t have a clear use.
If you buy your unit new, you can give it a ‘free’ 30 day trial – meaning that if you pay the Magic Jack price with a credit card, you can try the unit for a while and see if you like what you hear (suggestion: first see “Is VOiP Right for You?”). If the quality of your calls seems good and those calling you can hear you clearly, keep the unit – the charge will appear on your credit card. If not, return it within 30 days and MagicJack won’t charge your card. Note that this only works with charge cards – not debit cards. If you make your purchase an another online vendor such as Amazon, or at a local brick and mortar store such as Radio Shack, their Magic Jack price and return policies will apply.
The only version I would pay for is the follow: 2014 MagicJack Plus
A word to the wise: don’t port your old home phone number to MagicJack (or any similar device) unless you’ve tested it and are happy with the service. Get a phone number when you register your magicJack (it’s free), test it, then port your number if you like what you hear. Note that there is a one time fee of $19.95 to port your number, and an ongoing annual fee of $9.95 thereafter.
Assuming you pay the Magic Jack price and decide to keep your the unit, you need to keep your subscription current. To add a single year to your subscription costs $29.95, and to add an additional 5 years costs $99.75. This translates to local and long distance calls for as little as $1.67 per month – complete with voice mail, caller ID, and a host of other features. You can add call blocking capability, 50 speed call numbers, 7 digit local calling, and a host of other features by adding Magic Features to your installation. Do a little investigation before your purchase, and you’ll find the Magic Jack price is well worth the risk!
If you don’t like the Magic Jack price, you can buy your magicJack used on eBay or Craigslist for as little as $0.99 (starting auction bid), but be aware you need to get the email and password the seller used when they registered it. Without that information, you won’t be able to login to add subscription years or otherwise service the account. In addition, find out if the seller has used a smartphone app with their MagicJack, as the app ties the two together by the serial number of the smart phone. If the dongle has been linked to a smartphone, the seller may be able to make phone calls using your MagicJack account, and you won’t be able to use the magicJack app with your smartphone!
Finally, you may want to purchase a MagicJack with an expired subscription for use with Google Voice. There is a small program called GVJack which enables you to tie the two together and provides some interesting benefits (call blocking, automatic redialing, etc). Together, Google Voice and GVJack allowing you to make free phone calls to nearly anywhere in the United States or Canada – including some numbers which won’t connect using just MagicJack. The only downside is that the MagicJack or MagicJack Plus must be plugged into a computer – but your home phone service will be entirely free as long as Google Voice continues to offer free phone calls! Google has provided the service for free since 2009, and has currently committed to maintain the service for free through 2013. Beyond that is anyone’s guess.