By now each one of you must be quite familiar with the late night TV commercial telling you about Magic Jack or must have heard about the product from your friends and family. Within a very short span of time, this tiny device has become a household name. But some of you who have just a vague idea about the product are still wondering that what is this hype all about and does Magic Jack actually work the way others claim it does.

In the year 2007, Dan Borislow introduced a small USB like device in the market which claimed to wipe out thousands of dollars off your landline phone bill. This device when plugged into the USB port of a computer or laptop and connecting its other end to any traditional landline phone, claimed to provide its user with free calling to the United States and Canada. Magic Jack was invented by Dan through his company Ymax Corporation, and was named so after the names of his daughter’s two dogs, “Magic” and “Jack”.

In the year 2007 when Magic Jack was born, owing to market volatility, a lot of voice over internet services came in and were wiped out within no time, thus it was pretty hard to take any such service seriously. During the period November 2006 to October 2007, more than 171 VOIP services were introduced in the voice over internet phone market but due to some or the other reason none of them could make their mark. Many companies tried to jump and take leadership of this new form of communication technology but only a few of them really survived, the biggest success of all being Magic Jack.

During mid 2007 to March 2008, although Magic Jack was in the Beta stage of development, it was widely sold throughout and became quite popular among the internet savvy crowd. Since then it has been marketed to the average computer users and is now considered as general availability. The Magic Jack device, also known as the Dongle or ATA, has four distinct generations. Gen 1 was introduced during the period 2007 till May 2008 and was the simplest of all Magic Jack devices. From May 2008 onwards, Gen 2 was introduced in the market. It was a major revision over the Gen 1 device and particularly fixed the echo problem prevalent in the earlier device which was combated by using Tiger Jet echo cancellation utility. Gen 2 had two distinguishing features in comparison to Gen 1. First was the presence of a large, white rectangle behind the top of the “J”, painted on the circuit board. And just towards the right of this white rectangle was a tall, round metal thing. Gen 3 device came into the picture during December 2008. It is still not clear as to whether this third generation device offered any improvements over the prior generation or just some engineering changes were made with an aim to reduce the cost of manufacturing. This third generation device is best identified by the presence of a small, silver colored square with solder points on both sides, behind the top of the “J” and the tall, round metal thing replaced by an empty space. Gen 4, also known as the Magic Jack Plus has a tree like symbol over the “K” and an Ethernet port for standalone operations.

The bottom line is that Magic Jack delivers, and that too at very lost cost. Amongst all the other voice over internet service providers, Magic Jack is certainly the most successful low cost and high quality devices out there. Considering all the aspects, the inventors of this wonder device definitely deserve a lot of credit for taking over the entire market single handedly.

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