Recently my wife and I moved away from our home in the United States to do some humanitarian work in a developing country. Our internet connection is fairly consistent, though sometimes incredibly sluggish (usually around 256k both ways). In a previous post I wrote about the purchase of Majic Jack. The television sales unit that assigns a United States number and allows for unlimited calling for around $25/year. It has not disappointed for the most part and has allowed us to make calls back to our family even on the slow connection. But you can read that article for a review, so what about the rest of our calling system?
Our current set-up gives us one main phone number from the U.S.A. and allows us nearly unlimited calling for a total of about $75/year. Here is the order of services used.
- Google Voice - This is our “One” number to rule them all. We have given our Google number to all of our friends and family. We then forward on the Google number to our Majic Jack and in-country cell phone. Don’t forget – Google Voice is free! The SMS feature works well, the transcribe voice mail needs some work, the notifications and ease of use are superb.
- LocalPhone.com - A British company that allows you to assign a U.S.A. number to an international number (our in-country cell phone). So whenever Google forwards a call to the LocalPhone number my in-country cell phone rings. For our country the cost is less than 3.5 cents per minute. Not bad at all. Additionally, all incoming calls to cell phones in our country are free (the cell companies make their money on the outgoing calls).
- Majic Jack - You have already read about this product and it’s cost.
So what about the performance? The lag/latency has been astoundingly good. Much better than using a land-line system ever was. Only once did it take so long to make the triple connection (Google to LocalPhone to my cell phone) that the person was directed to voicemail before I could answer. It is times like these that make me write, and fully mean, the overused phrase “Isn’t technology amazing?”