I sometimes feel like my money disappears each month as if by some sort of strange magic. So imagine my surprise when a little "magic" appeared in the form of huge savings on my phone bill. It's known as MagicJack Plus, and the pundits are already saying it's giving trailblazing companies like Skype a real run for their money.

The first time I heard about MagicJack was last year when I dismissed it as inconvenient, just like Skype or VoIP. In order to use it, I would have to leave my computer on all day to receive calls, which was a big no-no for me. Besides worrying about the effects on my computer, I realized I'd have a higher electricity bill by the end of the month, so one saving would cancel out the other. Fortunately, the technology has improved, and the new MagicJack Plus makes it much easier and smarter to stop paying a monthly phone bill in one easy step.

What Is MagicJack Plus?

MagicJack Plus is a little device you plug into a power outlet that comes with a telephone jack attached to it. Basically it turns any electrical outlet into an instant phone line. I didn't even have to change my current phone number, which would have been another deterrent for me, but you do have that option.

Power Worries

I'm a bit behind the times, having remained married to my basic corded phones ever since the big blackout of 2003.  After not being able to make any calls because our plug-in cordless phones were dead, I rushed out and bought two old-school phones and vowed never again to rely on phones that had to be charged.  I was a bit concerned about using MagicJack Plus as it needs to be plugged into a power outlet in order to work.

The smart folks over at MagicJack solved this conundrum by providing a battery backup, as well as a surge protector, for each device. So even if the power goes out, I can still use my phone, and the device won't get fried when the power comes back on. I haven't experienced a power failure recently, so I can't vouch how well the backup works or for how long.

Phone Home for Free

Even ET would have loved this sweetener that comes with MagicJack Plus. Imagine you're away visiting relatives or enduring another boring work conference anywhere in the world. You can take it on the road with you to make free international calls back home to touch base with your family, friends or the office. Is that sweet or what?

Cost-Cutting Quickie

After your free trial ends, you pay a yearly fee of $19.95 for the service in the US and Canada. Before, my monthly phone bill was about $33, not including long distance which I spent an extra $20 of calling cards on. I have saved more than $600 a year!

The Downside

So far, I've only had a few calls with some interference, and the phone once cut out when my daughter started to use her computer.  This isn't a regular occurrence, and I can live with that occasional hiccup when I'm pocketing over $600 each year. Wouldn't you?

This has been a guest post by Andrea from Ontario, Canada
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