Does It Work: Magic Jack

(WMBF) - The rough economy has everyone cutting edges here and there, but when it comes to paying for telephone service, one product says it can turn your computer into a phone line.

Commercials advertise the Magic Jack for only $19.95 a year, but does it work?

Carl Black, of Cape Girardeau, put the Magic Jack to the test, and after 20 minutes of downloading the program onto his computer, he had a new phone number for any phone he plugged into the product.

While the product's effects were almost instantaneous, Black did note some potential problems.

"If you lose power because of a storm, you don't have 911 available because you don't have a computer," he said.

A disclosure that comes with the Magic Jack does warn local 911 systems may not work well with the product. To be on the safe side, Black suggests to have a spare phone handy.

"I used it on several different computers. It worked really well," Black said at the end of the product's 30-day trial. "I'd recommend buying it."

Before dishing out the dough on the Magic Jack, users will need broadband, hi-speed internet access for the product to work.

For this "Does It Work?" test, the Magic Jack gets a cautious thumbs up.

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