For a while there I thought I could make it with just a cell phone. Once our baby arrived, we started considering a land line in case of emergency or as at least a backup to our cell phones in case the battery dies or its left somewhere. We looked at a few of our alternatives and decide to try out the MagicJack USB Voip solution.
The magicJack is a USB device that you connect a phone line into so that you can make calls using VOIP technologies. Its a small device and setup was quite simple. Unfortunately, the magic jack was a purchase that I should have passed on.
I purchase this device in combination with the Panasonic KX-TG6582. Even with the phone's handset volume all the way up, the sound level of phone calls while using the magic jack is very poor. In some cases, its completely unusable; situations like calling pizza places or other businesses with background noise. There is no way to adjust or amplify the volume using the magic jack desktop software. There is also a sort of fax-machine-like-handshake noise after the first or second ring of an incoming call.
The virtual phone application that you install to run magicJack does look very dated and poorly designed. Even though we paid for a 5 year package (~$75), we still see a rotation of ads to upgrade our service. The application has to be running for you to accept phone calls and, of course, you do have to have a working internet connection. So its not quite a perfect replacement for a POTS (plain old telephone service) line.
The device works and the voicemail to email service is great, but unfortunately the extremely poor call quality has me asking "why did I buy this thing?". Until the sound issue is resolved, I would not recommend this product.
Purchase at Best Buy for about $40