Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

I have tried it all. Skype, Vonage, even VoIP from my ISP. Still, none were as easy as promised. Skype required me to purchase a expensive USB headset, Vonage required their equipment and my ISP had too many contracts. All I have wanted is true plug and play VoIP with my own telephone.

Then I found MagicJack. MagicJack is a small USB dongle (looks like a thumb drive) that any regular land based phone and a high speed internet connection. Plug the RJ11 line into the phone and into the MagicJack. That is the longest and most complicated part of this whole process. After that, it takes about 2 minutes to setup.

The Magicjack has excellent voice quality that's almost indistinguishable from a land line, and a cost of about $20 (A one time $20 fee for the MagicJack and a $20 a year charge for service)a year for unlimited nationwide service to any land line or cell. Even my Skype after adding a incoming line and voice mail was more expensive.

If this is your first time using the device, you'll have to run through a registration process and choose from a poll of numbers based on area codes. You can even pick an area code from a state or city other then where you live if you like.. You either request a new number or ask to have your existing number ported (there is a $10 surcharge for porting.). Set up your 911 service and your done.

What’s included? Everything most people need. Caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, three way calling, free local and long distance to US and Canada, and voice mail that will works even if you're not online.

It works with Windows and Macs and international calling credits will be available in Feb.
For those with home business trying to keep the cost down or with kids in college, this one is a new brainer.

Check out MagicJack here