Our story of cutting the cord (a detailed post coming soon) actually began about a year and a half ago. We wanted to reduce our Comcast monthly bill and the first casualty was phone service. At first we contemplated not having a landline at all. But then after hearing good things about magicJack we decided to investigate it further.

After reading the Amazon reviews, we decided to give the magicJackGO a try. We paid around $50, but now it can be found for $39.99 @ Target or Amazon
which includes the hardware and the first year of service. Even at $50 we figured it was worth a try.

Installation couldn’t have been easier. We plugged the magicJackGO into the power adapter and then into a power strip. Then we connected an Ethernet cable from our router to the magicJackGO Ethernet port. After that it only required a cord from our phone to the phone port on the magicJackGO.

The process of setting up the magicJack service was easy as well. After connecting the actual magicJack device to a USB port on our computer, it downloaded and updated software on the device.

Once installed, the magicJack softphone screen came up which looks like a phone dialer. There is a registration link on the left that takes you to the magicJack registration site to begin the process of account set-up – name, address, new phone number/porting, payment method, etc.

If you have an existing number with your current phone provider, porting your number is simple. You can go here to confirm your number is able to be ported to the Magicjack. After it’s confirmed all you need to do is to go into your magicJack online account, which you should have set up by now, and go to the TRANSFER section of your account to begin the process. The site claims it can take 5-10 business days for the porting to be completed but ours only took a couple of days.

After you’ve set up your account, completed the software updates, and either chosen your new number or ported your existing one, you’re pretty much done. We opted to plug in the magicJack directly into a power outlet and connect the Ethernet cord to it so we are able to make calls through a regular cordless phone handset.

Another nice thing feature is the magicJack App, available for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to make phone calls (from your home number) either via cell coverage or over WiFi, regardless of your location. You can also see and answer phone calls to your home number from the app even when you’re not home.

The one additional cost we didn’t catch when we originally signed up is that there’s an annual 911 fee of $11. The renewal fee for the magicJack service is $35, so your total annual out of pocket expense is $46/year ($3.83/month) if you want to have a landline in your home which is much cheaper than the $15 per month we were paying Comcast.



3 Thoughts on “To Landline Or Not To Landline? That Is The Question

  1. Pingback: First Month With Ting Wireless | Extrapolate This!

  2. That’s really good. I had looked at Ooma for a while but was hesitant to go for it and I can’t remember why. I’m curious to know why you have Magic Jack if you both have cell phones.

    I insist that we do keep a “home phone number” because I receiving phone calls, hate talking on the phone and hate giving out my cell phone number, LOL. So our official phone number for everybody except close friends and family is the old number to our phone line. We converted from a landline to a dumb cell phone line when AT&T started charging only $20 per line in the family plan if the phone was paid for (I used an Alcatel phone that’s crap and was an AT&T GoPhone originally). Much more expensive than your set-up, but it’s still way cheaper than our actual landline used to cost us before with CenturyLink (without long distance!) and we can even get texts if we cared to use that feature. But in reality the phone is turned off. All the time. The greeting is very unfriendly. I check messages once per month (maybe) and lately there haven’t been any. Telemarketers and annoying pollsters and other pests have learned not to bother us, I guess. $20+ per month is a small cost to me in order not to get annoying calls. If a number rings on my cell phone and I don’t know it, I don’t answer. If it’s important, people will leave a voicemail and I’ll call them back if I want to 🙂

    The Magic Jack might work for that purpose too, but I didn’t want to mess with cables and wires and connecting it to Greg’s PC, so I took the path of least resistance and went with the set-up that we have now. But if we had to cut expenses further, I’d definitely look into Ooma or Magic Jack again.

    • I haven’t heard of Ooma (until now) but I’m going to check it out just in case. We have Magicjack probably mostly due to my own piece of mind. But also because for $3.83/month it’s cheaper than using our cell phones. The $3.83/month on MJ for unlimited talk time comes out to be less than our cell phone minutes with Ting. Up to 500 minutes with Ting is $9/month. The $3.83/month is pretty cool if you do most of your talking from at home and have tiers for cell phone minute usage. With the cost so low with the landline, we tend to do most of our calling from at home. These days we text more than anything, and with WiFi the cost for texting is nothing so we push most talk to MJ.

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