magicJack vs BasicTalk

magicJack and BasicTalk are residential VoIP phone companies that provide US customers free or low-cost nationwide long distance using Internet phone service. Using ATAs, BasicTalk and magicJack offer residential VoIP phone service to consumers with high speed Internet access. In this article, we will compare the magicJack PLUS 2014 device and service with the BasicTalk device and service.

Service Basics: magicJack vs BasicTalk

The basic premise of BasicTalk vs. magicJack is technically similar — both residential VoIP phone companies use VoIP adapters to support Internet phone service. In fact, the VoIP adapter plays a significant role in outlining the difference between BasicTalk Internet phone and magicJack Internet phone:

  • BasicTalk markets phone service with a variety of different calling plans, and includes the adapter for free.
  • magicJack sells the adapter and includes unlimited domestic long distance calling for free (for the first 6 months), with prepaid international long distance options.

It's important to note that magicJack now offers two different types of magicJack — magicJack and the new magicJack PLUS 2014, which is a significantly improved product and makes a substantial difference when comparing BasicTalk vs. magicJack:

  • BasicTalk and magicJack PLUS 2014 support the use of the VoIP adapter without needing the computer to be on.

Other similarities between the two companies:

  • Both require high-speed Internet connections
  • Neither requires minimum term commitments
  • Both offer a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • The adapters are portable — subscribers can use them anywhere they have access to high speed Internet service (such as a hotel), although the magicJack PLUS 2014 adapter is more portable.

Cost Overview

The BasicTalk and magicJack PLUS 2014 devices are a breeze to set-up, and is one of the most simple ways to get residential phone service with unlimited calling and no monthly phone bills.

Shipping, handling, and applicable taxes or fees are not reflected in the prices listed below.

magicJack Calling Plan Details

magicJack Plus:
  • magicJack PLUS 2014 device, $49.95
  • First 6 months of VoIP phone service free

magicJack and magicJack PLUS renewal rates:
  • 1-year term is $29.95/year
  • 5-year term is $99.75, or $19.95/year

Both magicJack and magicJack PLUS customers benefit from free local and long distance calls throughout the US and to:

  • Canada
  • Puerto Rico
  • US Virgin Islands

Calls made using the magicJack from another country to the US or Canada are free. Additionally:

  • Prepaid international minutes are required for international calls
  • magicJack Internet phone service includes low per-minute calls to approximately 150 countries

BasicTalk Calling Plan Details

BasicTalk currently offers a free BasicTalk Box to new customers, and then offers unlimited home phone service for calling within the United States for $9.99 per month.


magicJack offers a free smartphone app for both Apple iPhones and Android smartphones that offers unlimited local and long distance calling in the United States and Canada.

The magicJack PLUS can be used without a computer.

How to Use a magicJack Plus without a Computer:

New and Improved: The magicJack PLUS VoIP Adapter

The new magicJack PLUS 2014 ($49.95) was designed to solve some of the more obvious logistical problems. The magicJack PLUS now only has to be plugged into the computer once (to register the service). The magicJack PLUS 2014 features an Ethernet port for router or broadband modem connectivity, but also works via WiFi.

The magicJack PLUS also offers other advantages, such as an onboard computer (an ARM CPU). The new magicJack PLUS also offers HD voice and Echo Control.

The BasicTalk ATA

BasicTalk's Box is included free with a monthly service plan. The basic model of the BasicTalk VoIP adapter is called the BasicTalk Box. However, BasicTalk Internet phone service also supports compatible ATAs, including models by Linksys, Motorola, D-Link, and more. Check online for specifics.

Minimum Requirements for BasicTalk or magicJack Phone Service

The BasicTalk Box and magicJack PLUS 2014 both require high-speed Internet connections.

For magicJack and magicJack PLUS, software is installed via the computer's USB port — with magicJack PLUS this is a one-time requirement for registration and service initiation. After that, unplug it and use where convenient.

Shared Features

magicJack may fall a little short of BasicTalk when it comes to standard features, but it still offers more service options than a traditional phone company. Here are some of the advanced call features that BasicTalk and magicJack both make available to consumers:

  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail-to-email
  • Caller ID
  • Call waiting
  • Number porting (fee for magicJack)
  • Free in-network calls
  • Portability — take your adapter anywhere to make free/inexpensive calls
  • Call forwarding

magicJack Advantages

The magicJack PLUS 2014 device, although not free like the BasicTalk Box, offers phone service for just $29.95 per year with a 1-year plan, or $19.95 per year with a 5-year service plan. Compare that with the $9.99 per month that BasicTalk charges and you will see that magicJack is the clear winner here.

Extension Service

Extension service is a popular VoIP feature that both BasicTalk and magicJack provide. BasicTalk offers the best VoIP service between BasicTalk vs. magicJack when comparing their mobile VoIP extension functions, with more flexibility and anytime/anywhere access.

Quality of Service

To compare VoIP service between the two residential VoIP phone companies, customer service has to be factored in to get the clearest picture.

Call Quality

The reliability of VoIP signals has improved over the years since VoIP was first introduced, especially since traditional telcos and cable companies have become VoIP providers. Quality of Service (QoS), redundancy, infrastructural improvements, and other efforts at standardization have also impacted the VoIP industry, providing customers with better and more reliably consistent service. VoIP service providers can also provide more cost-effective service, including standard features (such as call waiting) that a traditional telephone carrier would consider an add-on.

However, call clarity and consistent signals can still occasionally be an issue for some VoIP service providers, and other factors such as (shared) residential Internet connection speeds can affect performance. In this regard, magicJack and BasicTalk are very similar.

The Verdict

Overall, we recommend BasicTalk. BasicTalk may be backed by Vonage, but magicJack proves that lower price combined with ease of set-up, WiFi compatibility, and an excellent iPhone and Android app makes the magicJack PLUS 2014 the clear choice over BasicTalk for residential phone service. magicJack uses their small size to their advantage by finding the most innovative ways to stay competitive, and their end result really shows that brains beat brawn when it comes to phone service. Our editors have to the conclusion that BasicTalk is superior based on facts and customer reviews. We urge our readers to do their own research to see which product works best for them.

See also

Created by: admin, Last modification: Wed 06 of Jul, 2016 (19:03 UTC)
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