Monday, June 23, 2008

MagicJack: What a Goofy Product Name

But wow, does it do what it says it does. Look, dear readers: Stella isn't one of these bloggers who gets sent free stuff all the time in the hopes that she will flog it on her blog. All thirty of you who read (and I know at least fifteen of you personally) are not worth much in marketing land. So when I say something is really awesome, rest assured I've paid my own money to get it and I really do think its awesome.

I read about the MagicJack on CNN on Friday, and it sounded promising: around $40, unlimited domestic calling the first year thrown in at that price, and about $20/year for unlimited VoIP. I figured what the heck, it's not that much money and how could it be more wonky than Skype is 70% of the time.

But it totally rocks. It's a little USB device on one side and an RJ-11 jack on the other. I plugged it into my laptop, waited for it to install its software, plugged the phone in the other side and there was dialtone. Like for real dialtone. I went online, picked a number and was calling away lickety split.

I did three long phone calls on it today. It didn't drop the call once, nobody said that they couldn't hear me, there was no echo, it was just normal calling. I was even running GoToMeeting at the same time as I was talking (something that would normally kill Skype) and it sounded great. I'll have to try it with the VPN running -- if it sounds good over the VPN, then I'm just going to buy stock in the company or something.

I don't know how it works or why it's so much better than other voice over IP thingies I've tried. I just know it is.

But there is some bad: They need to do something about their graphic design. It all seems a little "Kaboom", like Ron Popeil is going to jump out of the website at me and tell me to set it and forget it. The device looks vaguely like the Clapper -- it's clear with a blue light to tell you it's working. Plus the packaging is orange which makes it look a little like Vonage (with whose call quality it doesn't deserve to be associated).

But seriously if you want to make calls on your PC, give it a go. Tell 'em Stella Commute sent you.

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