To provide your customers and prospects with excellent experience, your communication needs to be on point. While you can count on live chat and email tickets most of the time, the phone is still one of the best customer service and sales channels. People love it when there is a real person on the other side and the phone can help you solve issues much faster than live chat or email.
These days, there are a lot of phone services to choose from. Most have comparable features and pricing, which makes it hard to get the right one. In today’s post, we will be looking at two popular choices, BasicTalk and magicJack, to help you pick the right one for your small business.
We will judge BasicTalk and magicJack on what we believe are the three most essential criteria for small business owners: features, how easy it is to set up and use and the price.
Let’s get started.
Basic Talk is a VoIP phone service that promises unlimited calls to numbers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The company behind it provides you with a phone box that works using an internet connection, independent of your phone line. You have to connect your BasicTalk box to the internet using an Ethernet cable, then connect the box to your phone and you can start using the service.
The only requirement is that you have a high-speed internet connection to ensure maximum efficiency but there are no contracts. You can either keep your existing phone number or they can provide you with a new one without any additional costs.
Features of BasicTalk
Basic Talk includes all the features you expect from a VoIP service. For example, there is the ability to listen back and delete voicemail messages, set voice ring count and the voicemail caller ID.
You can also block calls, add call waiting, a do-not-disturb mode, 911 emergency calls and 411 directory assistance. The do-not-disturb feature can be set up to stop calls from ringing your phone when you are not in your office.
How easy is BasicTalk to set up and use?
Setting up BasicTalk is simple. As we mentioned before, all you need to do is plug the provided phone box, connect it with your internet router using an Ethernet cable and connect your phone to it. The package also includes an installation guide to help you get up and running.
In the past, to get your BasicTalk box, all you needed to do was log in to their website, fill in the required info and add your card details. These days, you can find second-hand BasicTalk boxes on eBay and Craigslist.
When it comes to ease of use, BasicTalk is pretty straightforward. You continue using your phone as you did before as the BasicTalk box is only connected to it using your internet service.
How much does Basic Talk cost?
Because BasicTalk is not taking any new customers these days, we can only talk about their calling plans from the past. The plan costs $9.99 per month plus taxes and fees, which are different depending on the state you live in. The plan was only available on a per-month basis, meaning you could cancel the service whenever you wanted. Unlike some other similar services, BasicTalk did not charge a fee if you keep your existing number.
For BasicTalk, unlimited calls were actually limited to 3000 minutes of usage per month. If you went over that number, their team would inspect your usage, see how many numbers you have called, the call length and more to determine if you needed to pay an additional fee.
magicJack is a device that uses VoIP technology to allow its customers to receive calls from the U.S. and Canada using an existing high-speed internet connection. magicJack and magicJack plus — a version of magicJack with low international calling rates and free voicemail — promise a 99% uptime for the service.
Some of the standout features of magicJack include virtual fax, auto-attendant, call forwarding, mobile and desktop apps and VoIP phones. The virtual fax feature allows magicJack users to send and receive documents and replace a traditional fax machine. The auto-attendant feature helps callers reach different departments and employees in a company as a virtual receptionist. There is also a greeting message feature, dial-by-extension and voicemail features.
If you prefer to use a real phone instead of a computer for making calls, magicJack has got you covered as they also bundle them with certain packages. However, if you are okay with using the desktop or mobile apps, you can as magicJack is available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms. You can also use magicJack to route and manage inbound calls.
How easy is magicJack to set up and use?
Setting up magicJack or magicJack Plus is similar to BasicTalk. Using the provided Ethernet and phone cables, you connect your telephone and router to the magicJack USB box. You then connect the magicJack USB box to the power outlet.
If you want to use the magicJack on your desktop, you connect your phone to the box and your computer.
How much does magicJack cost?
magicJack is available both for personal and business use. For personal use, magicJack costs $49.99 for the first year. At the moment, the renewal plans start at $39 for the one-year plan, while the five-year plan is $120.
For business use, the standard plan includes a new phone for $54.99 plus $15.99 per month per line, without the cost of shipping, regulatory fees and taxes.
Some features such as virtual fax and auto-attendant are not available in the basic package but instead have to be purchased separately and cost from $5 to $10 per month.
BasicTalk vs magicJack — how do they compare?
The basic premise of both services is similar. Both require you to use their VoIP adapter and your existing telephone to make calls. Both offer unlimited calls and can work without a computer. Both require a high-speed internet connection and there are no minimum contract commitments with either. The experience of setting up and using BasicTalk and magicJack is quite similar.
The most significant difference between the two is the pricing. While BasicTalk is not serving any new customers these days, they offered the BasicTalk adapter for free and you only had to pay the $9.99 monthly fee for using their long-distance calling service.
On the other hand, you have to purchase the magicJack adapter but it includes an annual plan. After the initial year is over, magicJack costs $39 per year, while there was no similar plan with BasicTalk as the service costs $9.99 per month or about $120 per year. For a comparable price of $130 per year, you can get a five-year magicJack plan, meaning that magicJack is a much more budget-friendly option.
When it comes to the experience of using the services, both offer solid call quality (as long as you have a stable internet connection) and okay prices. They both have similar features meaning that the biggest differentiator between the two VoIP providers is the price.
Ringblaze — the best phone service alternative to BasicTalk and magicJack
While both BasicTalk and magicJack are okay for everyday use if you want a VoIP solution that works great all the time, has excellent features and provides excellent call quality for a fair price, make sure you check out our product — Ringblaze.
Ringblaze is phone service and the best alternative to BasicTalk and magicJack you can get. Our product provides the best-in-class phone solution for sales and customer support. With Ringblaze, you can easily manage all your calls and call-related activities, treat your calls as tickets, assign them to different people in your company, and use many other features to support your business. The VoIP service we created allows you to focus on what is important — providing the best possible service to your customers and prospects.
Our product is available in one simple plan, which can be paid monthly or annually. The monthly plan starts at $19 per user per month, while the annual plan is 20% cheaper and it costs just $15 per user a month when billed annually.
Other features of Ringblaze include call history for up to 90 days, call recording, a custom voicemail greeting, unlimited calling to the US and Canada, a free US or Canada number, call forwarding and transfer, mute, and much more.
Popular BasicTalk vs magicJack questions
Here are the answers to the most popular BasicTalk vs magicJack questions online.
Is there something better than magicJack?
Yes! Our product — Ringblaze — is much better than magicJack as it does not require you to purchase any devices or install anything. You can start making your first call in less than fifteen minutes.
Is Vonage or magicJack better?
It depends on what you are looking for but Vonage is primarily oriented towards business users, unlike magicJack, which is more of a residential VoIP service.
What is a good replacement for Vonage?
There are a few great Vonage alternatives you can consider. If you are running a small business, our product Ringblaze is the best replacement for Vonage.
Is magicJack a good VoIP service?
The answer to this question depends on what you consider a good VoIP service to be but in our opinion, magicJack is okay. If you have to choose between magicJack and BasicTalk, go with magicJack.
Having looked at both BasicTalk and magicJack, the differences between the two are minor.
BasicTalk is an okay home phone service for those looking at just the basic features. The main issue is that right now, you cannot purchase a BasicTalk subscription from their website. All you can do is rely on third-party websites that offer second-hand BasicTalk boxes, which may or may not work. This means that we can only recommend magicJack, as it is the only one which you can actually get.
If you would like to try a VoIP business phone solution that offers best-in-class features for small businesses and large companies — make sure to try Ringblaze!