, a new VoIP service provider, allows cheap phone calls from a computer using a USB device that connects on one end to your PC and your home analog phone on the other. It has an interesting pricing model that is reminiscent of SunRocket's $299/year one-time fee - though much cheaper. The MagicJack sells for between $29.95-$39.95, and then there's an annual license fee of $19.95 for unlimited calls in the U.S., Canada and portions of Europe. Compare that with Vonage's $24.99/month for unlimited U.S. domestic calling.
According to MagicJack, it's a simple 45-60 second setup.
1. Plug any phone cord into the magicJack
2. Plug magicjack into a USB port on your computer.
3. Wait 60 seconds for completion screen to appear, then dial your phone and talk for free.
It features Follow-Me, free calls to the U.S. when you take the magicJack to any country. Call Forwarding, CallerID, Call Waiting, and Voicemail will be available April 2007. Don't expect e911 emergency services though.
On a related note, I have a similar product in my VoIP labs called myJabber
. It too is a USB-based VoIP device, though myJabber is more similar to the Vonage V-Phone I reviewed
since they both uses a softphone for calls rather than an actual analog phone like magicJack does. Essentially, magicJack is an analog telephony adaptor (ATA).