|A cheap line coupler and 20 feet of phone cable connects my Magic Jack to all my jacks in my house which makes all my will jacks "live."|
My one-year anniversary with AT&T Uverse (phone, internet, television bundle) arrived recently. With that anniversary came the opportunity to re-negotiate with AT&T for better/cheaper service. After considerable research, here’s what I did: I switched my phone service to MagicJack and cancelled my AT&T phone service. I also got a better deal on my all-important TV lineup. And I didn’t have to give up my phone number to do it. This will save me over $300 bucks per year.
Most of you have probably heard of Magic Jack. It was invented a few years ago as a small $20 dongle that you plug into a USB port on a computer. It has a standard RJ-11 phone jack into which any standard phone can be plugged. This allows the user to make unlimited free phone calls over an existing high speed internet service to the entire continental U.S. and Canada. That’s all cool but the problem was that your computer had to be present and powered on to use it.
In September of last year, the company introduced the MagicJack Plus. It costs $70.00 and includes one year of free nationwide calling. After your first year, you can renew for $30.00 per year. The MagicJack Plus plugs into your router, which is always powered on. You then plug your phone line into that MagicJack. One minor problem with that setup was that this provides only one working phone jack in the house - the one on the MagicJack itself. That’s not a big deal as most people own a cordless phone but I wanted all the telephone jacks in my house to work. So I ran a phone wire from my MagicJack to the telephone interface on the back of my house. That makes all the jacks in my house “live.”
MagicJack comes with a free generic phone number with an area code of your choosing but my goal was to keep my trusty old phone number. The process for “porting” my number from AT&T to MagicJack was simple. It is all done on the MagicJack website. The process cost an extra $20 and took about 5 days to complete. Once the process was complete and I verified the MagicJack worked as advertised, I called AT&T, cancelled my phone service, and renegotiated my TV lineup.
And MagicJack does work as advertised. I have extra-high-speed internet at my house so it works flawlessly. My brother has a vacation house in the mountains and uses notoriously-slow satellite internet. The MagicJack works “pretty good” even for him.