Why wouldn’t I use Magic Jack, Skype or Vonage for my business?

By Brian Boguhn
Updated: February 02, 2011

In the world of Voice over IP (VoIP), there are many service choices. You can purchase the equipment outright and build your own VoIP system. You can also use a hosted solution, whereby an offsite provider handles everything for you. There are also cheap solutions that businesses might be tempted to use, such as Magic Jack, Skype, and Vonage. But is using one of these products for your business really such a good idea?

Read more below


Magic Jack

You’ve probably seen the infomercial for Magic Jack on television. The product is hyped as being miraculous. Even better, you can get it for a 100% risk free trial. Seems almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? For a home user, it might work just fine. Do a little research, however, and you quickly find comments from users about the issues they’ve had with the product. Many customers talk about having Magic Jack work for the first month flawlessly, and then experiencing nothing but problems with it afterwards (i.e. inability to make calls, incoming calls aren’t received). Besides that, you need a dedicated PC running 24/7 in order to use this product. If you turn your PC off, you lose your phone service. A good number of customers have expressed displeasure with Magic Jack’s support, which is centered on an online chat system. The phone number you get for Magic Jack can’t be listed in the phone book, a big issue for a business. Probably most important, however, is that multiple lines can’t run off of a single Magic Jack; you’d need one Magic Jack plus one dedicated computer for each user you want to have a phone. The costs add up quickly and the support becomes a nightmare overnight.

Skype

Skype requires a computer or a cellphone with a Skype client in order to work. It offers none of the traditional features that even products like Magic Jack and Vonage offer – voice mail, caller ID, call waiting, etc. Calls to landlines and cellphones are not free; you can only make a free call if you’re connecting to another Skype user. While the service is reliable, calls can have bad quality. If you’re looking to do a video connection with another Skype user, it works perfectly for that. If you’re looking to run a business, you’re best spending your phone dollars elsewhere.

Vonage

Vonage might seem like a good solution, but dig a little deeper and you start to see problems with it for business. The biggest complaint with Vonage is call quality. Users are able to hear the difference between a regular phone and Vonage. A hosted VoIP solution doesn’t have this issue. Similar to Magic Jack, Vonage would also require multiple setups if you wanted to have multiple phone numbers. If you’re running a single line that isn’t critical, Vonage may work for you. If you have multiple users making business critical calls, a hosted VoIP system scales much better and offers more reliability.

Conclusion

Magic Jack, Skype, and Vonage all have their uses. Many individuals use these products every day and are happy with them. However, if you’re running a business, you want to make sure you are running a phone system that is reliable and that you can count on. For most businesses, phone systems are critical. Spend your money wisely and see a better return. Use a hosted VoIP provider who can handle your needs and let you worry about other things than whether your phone is going to work or not today.
 

Featured Research
  • Mobile Communication Showdown

    It's no secret that businesses are becoming agiler and employees are spending more time away from their desks. The question isn't should we get rid of our landlines, but how quickly can we replace them?However, staying connected with your colleagues, clients, and customers is absolutely essential for cultivating long-term, lucrative relationships that will help your company achieve success. more

  • The Best Business Phone Systems in 2017

    71% of people say they are more creative of people when they are able to collaborate on teams. Collaboration is essential to business success and has never been more impactful than today. As the number of conversations outside of face-to-face meetings and travel increases, it is important for you to invest in a phone system that will allow your business to flourish. more

  • The Future of VoIP Security

    Looking to invest in a VoIP system? With the fantastic strides that have occurred in communication technology one thing to keep in mind is there has also been an increase in concerns surrounding security. As an example of this, in the third quarter of 2016 alone, there were over 18 million malware samples captured. more

  • Impressive VoIP Features for Business Growth

    Great communication is an important building block of business success. Let this sink in, through a simple internet connection, you can connect with people around the globe, from where you are at that moment. All of this is possible with a VoIP phone system, and if you don't have one you should be seriously be considering getting one. more

  • 8 Ways Business Travelers Can Save with VoIP

    Do you or any part of your workforce travel for work, or even telecommute? If that answer is yes, then you should be utilizing mobile VoIP. With VoIP, businesses have been found to save as much as 40% on local calls and a whopping 90% on international calling expenses. more