MagicJack Downside

It is not all fun and roses. Even the best solutions have downsides. There is no all encompassing solution to anything, but there is no reason why we should not know of the downsides before we are blindsided.

As indicated earlier, the MagicJack’s main problem is that it needs an active connection to the internet provided by a computer that is alive, well, and running. If any of those conditions ‘go away’, the MagicJack goes away and away goes your telephone line. A dead MagicJack will still take messages through the voice mail feature but will not take calls and will not tell you it is not taking calls until you try to use the phone and find it is dead.

Not good.

One way to loose the telephone connection is to loose power. If the PC power is interrupted, it will reset, reboot, and stall when it gets to the log-on screen. It will stay that way until you decide to log-on and let the MagicJack load again.

This is the normal, out-of-the-box, default performance of XP. Guess maybe Vista gives you the same problem. Don’t know for sure about Vista but when it comes to problems, Microsoft is real good a keeping old problems and creating new ones from release to release. However, there is a solution you can implement if you are using XP (using XP+SP2 here).

Set up the log-on feature to allow the welcome screen. Then go into the computer management utility and get rid of the Guest user. Just delete it. The idea here is to get to one user only and make sure that one user has admin priveledges and no password requirements.

Once set up this way, XP will automatically bring the computer back up to a useful condition when it reboots. This setup will not hang up on the welcome screen or wait for a user to log-on. Log-on will be automatic for the one user remaining.

Now when the power fails, the computer will come back up and load the MagicJack when the power is restored.

If you feel the need for a phone when the power fails, use your cell-phone. If you don’t have a cell-phone, you will need an old dialup phone connected to an old land-line telephone line. That is an old copper wire telephone line. Those new fiber-optic lines need power. When the power fails on the fiber-optic lines, they will stay hot only as long as the batteries hold out (probably as much as several hours).

Unfortunately, old copper wire, land lines, are being phased out completely. You may not be able to get one of those at any price.

The good news is that the money you save with the MagicJack may be enough to buy a very simple cell-phone and simple service program.

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