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It's difficult to believe that a product "As Seen On TV" is the kind of product that would be spectacular. Magic Jack is that product. This cool tool is a simple way to minimize long distance telephone bills for either a business and residence.
Magic Jack fits right into the USB port of any computer. This becomes a phone jack and you can plug your telephone right into it. After that, long distance phone calls can be made for only the yearly $19.99 fee. Considering how much people can spend on long distance telephone bills, this is a real savings.
There are some basic requirements. The jack is good for both Windows and Mac users, but only if there is an Intel chip inside. This means that both XP and Vista, plus any Mac will work fine. The broadband or high speed internet needs to always be on so others can call in to your phone. Magic Jack does work on dial up, but the other user that you are going to call needs to also have a dial up Magic Jack, too.
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Magic Jack started as a sold on TV infomercial. PC Magazine named it the Product of the Year in early 2008. Then Radio Shack became inmpressed with the device when the product was demonstrated to them. A salesman at Radio Shack gave it the best compliment when he noted that once a customer purchased Magic Jack, they didn't return it. Magic Jack's $39.99 initial cost includes a year of service and there is a thirty day return guarantee.
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No device is perfect. Magic Jack's international long distance does not reach every country on earth. There is a list on the back of the package of the countries that can be reached with this plug-in. Double check to be sure the countries that you may be calling are covered by using Magic Jack before you purchase.
Another issue is that the internet needs to be on at all times, thereby using more electricity. Of course, machines do go to "sleep," but with a recent emphasis on conserving energy, keeping a computer on again can cost. Shutting off the computer only affects incoming calls, so the middle of the night be all right. Otherwise, you will just have to leave the internet on at all times.
The final concern is that one USB port needs to be dedicated to the constant use of the Magic Jack plug-in. Again, this is a small issue since most computers have extra ports anyway.
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Overall Magic Jack is a simple, but great device that can really help stretch a budget. Look for this product to get even better over time.