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My looking at reviews on the Web show if it works, it is great but some cannot get it to work at all and the help line is lousy. Sounds like an all or nothing system. Since it is not that expensive, its probably worth a shot if you need the service.
I have one and it works fine. You need to have your computer on and the magic jack plugged into the USB. The internet connection also needs to be on. You then plug a phone into it and make phone calls. It shows up on your computer as an active program. It's a soft phone that requires a full telephone to work, or else you can use a headphone and microphone and get it to work that way. Voice is a litle digitized as well. Calling US numbers is fine.
In Aruba right now, and I have used it all week (using a wireless Internet connection) to make calls to clients back in Canada and the U.S. Most of the time no problem. One time it was a poor connection so I simply told the client I had a poor connection and I would try the call again. Worked fine the second time. I would recommend it highly.
I have one. Works fine. Sometimes the audio quality is about like a cell phone, but other times it sounds like a land line. I also use Skype, and both are comparable. I was able to just 'borrow' the modular-jacked room telephone from timeshares in Mexico and Portugal, take them to the place where we had free wi-fi, plug the phone into the MagicJack and dial away.
Can't say that I'd use it for either a fax line or as a sub for regular phone service. We have kids/grandkids in a distant city, so I put our MagicJack's number there so their calls to us are to a local number (for them) and of course no charge to us on the MJ.
I got the Magic Jack back in February when we moved. I could not setup the fax machine to work with it. It's ok, but I've relocated and not continued to use it. I still get messages on it from folk who forgot that I've moved out of state. I did have problems with drop calls and an echo on many occasions. If the computer is not on, you cannot receive/make calls.
I worked for Cisco Systems several years back on a VoIP product. I learned that the software for FAX is different than for voice. Exploiting the voice characteristics for maximum bandwidth use is way different than for FAX. Cisco has a way of detecting a FAX and switching to the right method. I have a hunch that MJ doesn't have that option now.