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Cost Effective VOIP for Home or Business use.

I just completed my test of MagicJack VOIP phone service. Before I start sharing my install and troubleshooting experience using this service, here's a few information before you begin reading this article.

If you plan to save your phone bill, this is a great solution for you. If you don't plan to save (who do not?), don't bother to read this article.

If you like Skype saving $ to your phone bills, you will love this product as well. If you are currently using Vonage for your residential, you will definitely like the cost saving of MagicJack.

Well I guess I covered the basic information.

I bought 2 MagicJack for work. I was able to register the first MagicJack without any glitch, it's a plug and play setup to my laptop. I was able to initiate and receive calls after 10-20 minutes of setup. I said wow! that's a great product.

The 2nd MagicJack is not as smooth as the first install, there are some glitch and I will explain in details.

I first installed the 2nd MagicJack to my laptop with Windows VISTA Operating System which is also supported according to their website. By the way, I think the website was designed poorly and need an intervention in my humble opinion. Well, I've seen worst web designed anyway so I will let this slip. Going back to the VISTA issue, I need to install a patch or upgrade for my VISTA operating system.

After the installation of patch for my Windows VISTA Operating System. I thought my misery is over, oops I'm running a firewall so I need to open ports. If you're not using a firewall, and most cable modem or broadband service install is set by default "OPEN". You should be able to start using your MagicJack VOIP service.

What ports to open to your firewall?
To save you some research work about firewall ports information, here's what you need to open.

You need to open ports between 5060 to 5070 using UDP protocol. After you add this to your Firewall policy, you should be able to initiate call.

By the way, if you're interested to know the VONAGE ports to use. Here's the port lists:
VONAGE_SIP port number 5061 UDP protocol
VONAGE_NTP port number 123 UDP protocol
VONAGE_TFTP port number 2400 UDP protocol
VONAGE_RTP port number 10000 to 20000 UDP protocol

Going back to testing MagicJack phone. After setting up my firewall policy, I was able to initiate a call to the outside world ... yipeee! Test receiving call ... ops it didn't work "the number cannot be reach". I've checked my connection, everything seems to be working properly. I tried moving MagicJack to another laptop with XP operating system, same result. Check the Internet to get some information to resolve this issue failed as well. By the way, BEWARE to visit some websites aside MagicJack (and My.King.Net) posting to offer solution. After visiting their websites, my anti-virus application start showing malware program trying to access my workstation. Tsk!

So I surfed MagicJack.com website to find their customer live support via chat. Believe me, looking for this information to their website is a challenge. I was looped many times before I even get to start a chat session.

Well the bright side is Lira (2nd level of support) from the live support was able to help me resolved this issue. To make the troubleshooting story short, she asked me to change my phone through My.MagicJack.com portal. Login using your email address e.g. my e-mail @king.net and password. Click on "change my number", this is for the first time. Unplug your MagicJack USB connection to your computer or reset through MagicJack softphone to re-initiate your connection. You should be able to see the new phone number if your MagicJack device was reset properly.

Viola, after changing phone number I was able to receive calls.

I ordered another one for my residential phone to replace my VONAGE phone. No need a brain surgery to decide, I'm paying $24.95 ($30 including taxes) per month for unlimited service for VONAGE compare to $19.95 per year for MagicJack. You do the math. I might also consider getting the $59.95 for 5 years Platinum plan to save even more.

At the end of the day, you will decide for your own and good luck to you.

CONS:
- You computer must be up 24/7 to use your VOIP service

REFERENCES:
- MagicJack.com
- Comparing VOIP Service

Share your thought.

UPDATE: Read the update related to MagicJack device.

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