Magic Jack – What Is It, And What Does It Do?

Magic Jack is a small piece of equipment that plugs into a USB port of your computer and, using either your computer’s speakers and a microphone or a regular telephone, allows you to make phone calls through your computer. The regular telephone can be plugged into the RJ11 socket on the device the same way you would connect a telephone to a traditional wall socket. Phone calls can then be made, depending on the user’s choice, from either the phone handset or the computer.

This device is fully supported on both Windows PCs and Apple MACs, and as long as you purchased your computer within the last 5-7 years you should be able to set up and run both the device and the software on it. Magic Jack uses the Internet to make, place, and receive calls and your computer must remain on when the phone is in use. When incoming calls arrive and a phone is not plugged into the device the computer program that comes with it will cause the computer to “ring”. If the computer is off then the phone calls will be sent to voice mail, and the user will receive an email notification when they arrive.

This type of technology is call known as Voice over IP or VoIP, and is a way of making phone calls using an Internet connection instead of a regular phone line. VoIP takes analog audio signals, like your voice, and converts them to digital signals that are then transmitted over the Internet. A broadband or high speed internet connection is required for this service and can be obtained through cable, DSL or other local area network. VoIP quality over a broadband connection is generally superior to calls over an analog line, and most users are very satisfied with it. Sometimes however the quality can be poor, and is usually due to network congestion. Also users may notice that there is sometimes a small amount of voice delay on calls but this usually does not cause any real problems.

Magic Jack offers all the essential telephone services such as voice mail, call forwarding, call waiting, and caller ID. When activating the device the user will receive a phone number that will be different from their original telephone supplied phone number. At this time the servicing company is unable to port over existing numbers. It will be important for the user wishing to receive calls through their Magic Jack to inform callers of the number change.