VoIP & Internet Phones

MagicJack, Meet Cell Phone. Cell Phone, MagicJack

The makers of MagicJack have, for years now, implored you in late-night infomercials to ditch your telephone company landland and use their product instead. Their device, about the size of a deck of playing cards, connects to a computer on one end and to a regular telephone on the other. With a MackJack thusly installed a user can place any phone call over an internet connection; calls to or within the U.S. are completely free.

(Or course, what MagicJack doesn’t tell you in their infomercials is that theirs isn’t the only internet telephony service. See our comparison of MagicJack, Skype and Vonage. Ooma also has a VoIP product that’s more expensive but otherwise superior to MagicJack’s).

Starting in the spring of 2010 MagicJack will be expanding their competitive sights to the cell phone companies. A new MagicJack device will allow users to use their mobiles to make and receive free calls.

This new MagicJack has received a great deal of press. The AP even ran an article titled MagicJack’s next act: disappearing cell phone fees.

But will the new MagicJack really let you ditch your cell phone company?

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How To Make Free Phone Calls Via Twitter

Spot Cool Stuff is fascinated by the ever expanding functionality companies are bringing to Twitter. Some hotels offer concierge services via Twitter. Some take-out restaurants allow customers to place orders via Twitter. And now at least one VoIP company, Jajah, is launching a service that places telephone calls via Twitter.

Here’s how Jajah’s Twitter calling works:

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Hello, Telo

A few months ago we pondered the question Is the Ooma worth your moola? Our answer, in short, was:


The Ooma Core VoIP Phone System is a product that allows users to make virtually unlimited telephone calls to, or within, the United States for free. Ooma’s call quality rivaled that of competitors Skype and Vonage, and surpassed that of MagicJack. Since the Ooma operates independently of your computer, allows for 911 emergency dialing and works with any standard telephone, the system is perfect for people seeking a cheaper alternative to a landline. You can even transfer a current landline number to the Ooma.

Not content to rest on its laurels, Ooma has announced that it will soon launch an updated version of its VoIP product: the Ooma Telo.

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Is Ooma Worth Your Moola?

In our recent review of MagicJack, Vonage and Skype one commenter asked why we excluded ooma from our comparison. Like those three VoIP services, ooma (yes, the company uses a lower case “o”) allows users ditch their telephone landline and make calls over the internet.

Our reason for the excluding ooma in the previous review? We didn’t have enough first hand experience of the product. Now we do. Here’s our review . . .

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Skype Comes to the iPhone

Make phone calls via Skype from an iPhone as you would from a computer

A few weeks ago we reviewed the best Skype phones. There’s now a new phone to add to that list: Apple’s iPhone.

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The Best Skype Phones

Skype, MagicJack or Vonage?

That’s the question we contemplated in a recent review. There are many advantages to choosing Skype but among the disadvantages is this: To use Skype as you would a telephone company land line you must have a Skype-compatible phone.

After testing out over two dozen Skype phones we found a huge difference in the call quality each delivered. Here are our reviews of the Skype phones we found to be the best:

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MagicJack vs. Vonage vs. Skype

Telephone land lines are expensive. And so very 1990s. If you have a high speed internet connection you already have a modern communication line you can use for telephone calls.

With an eye towards ridding yourself of your phone company, Spot Cool Stuff examines three internet telephone services: MagicJack, Vonage and Skype. With all three you can dial out to any telephone number in the world. With all three you can receive a call from any telephone in the world. It is there, though, that the similarities end.

So which of the three services is best? Read on for our full analysis or skip ahead to the conclusion.

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