Some Limitations of the MagicJack

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I have done a review showcasing the Magicjack which talks about the benefits and advantages that the MagicJack offers to users who want to save money by using this USB device that allows you to make calls through your home computer and the Internet from your home phone.

This post will talk about some of the limitations with the MagicJack and little annoyances that can occur, though these are not showstoppers and I still think that the MagicJack is a great money saving product.

#1 – The MagicJack seems to drop calls at the exact 2 hour mark

I have been on many conference calls in several weeks where I have been on calls for hours and hours at a time. In 100% of the cases and on every single day the MagicJack loses connection at exactly 2 hours. My phone logs the length of time of the call and I see it happen every time, no exceptions. There is something in either the MagicJack software or system that must terminate connections at the two hour mark. This is annoying and they should fix this.

I opened a support request to see if there was any official word or answer about this from MagicJack, but the representative just gave vague information about calls being free but not unlimited. They did mention that the stability of the Internet and ISP are a factor and that some people drop calls in 1 hour or less. Their recommendation, just redial back in.

#2 – Periodically the MagicJack has a voice stuttering issue

One out of every four or five calls I make with the MagicJack my users complain that my voice breaks up while speaking, while this could be related to the usage of RAM/CPU on the server, my computer is idle most of the time I am on the phone with MagicJack. I think this is some sort of connection problem issue, but it goes away by hanging up and redialing most of the time and happens occasionally. The other thing to note here is that the more USB devices I have plugged into my PC at the same time, the more likely my MagicJack is to have some sort of staggering or lag on voice. This is especially true if I leave my USB Mic plugged into the PC while trying to use the MagicJack, even if not “recording” an active mic reads in input and utilizes USB bandwidth and memory/cpu which interferes with the MagicJack.

I also assume faster systems and hardware would experience less spottiness, so I am not saying this is a MagicJack issue, but that this is something noticed when using the MagicJack. My computer is pushing on 4 years old now and these issues would probably alleviate with faster motherboard/cpu/ram.

  • Summary:

I have been using the MagicJack for almost two years now, and I can honestly say I have made hundreds of calls with it ranging from 17 hour long conference calls (having to reconnect every 2 hours when the drop occurs) to five to ten minute calls. The device works well overall and at a cost of $19.99 is well worth having and doing the majority of your phone calls over when you are in the home. Better than eating minutes on your Cell phone, or paying over $20 per month for a basic land line.

-Justin Germino

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Updated: January 20, 2010 — 12:05 pm