NetTalk TK6000 Review – Can it Take Over Magic Jack?
It’s no secret the Magic Jack, a device that allows you to make free local and long distance calls, has seen great success over the last two years. It comes as no shock then that another company would release a similar product and try to steal part of the market share that the MagicJack has captured. Late night commercials can now been seen advertising a Magic Jack look a like product called the TK6000. NetTalk, a new startup is behind the “Magic Jack killer”.
What is the difference between the NetTalk TK6000 and Magic Jack?
The two devices are actually very similar in size and weight. The big difference between the two is that the Magic Jack must be plugged into a computer and must be powered on to make calls. The TK6000 does not require a computer to work. You simple plug your landline phone and your Internet connection into the device. As with the Magic Jack you must have a quality high-speed Internet connection to have quality calls.
There is a significant difference in price between the two products. The Magic Jack costs $39.00 with a $20 dollar a year charge to make unlimited calls. The NetTalk TK6000 costs $100 dollars upfront although you do have the option of splitting the payments into four parts. Once you have paid the hundred dollars you are then able to make unlimited calls for the “life” of the device. There have been some debates on the bulletin boards about what this actually means. The shipping and handling fee is waved if you decide to pay the whole amount upfront.
What does The TK6000 have going for it?
One thing we really like about the device is that it does not require a computer, which we find one of the more annoying things with the MagicJack. You can save some money not having to pay to keep your computer powered on 24/7. It’s great that once you pay the $100 upfront that you will not have to pay another charge ever again. Although most companies and devices have a life span and we doubt you’ll make free phone calls for life. You are able to use the TK6000 with all sort of hardware including satellite providers, and fax machines. The offer a 1-800 support number and from what we have heard, support is very good. There is a very helpful and active forum where users can get help or make suggestions to the company. We also like that you can change your number and area code when ever you like. Right now NetTalk does not allow you to port your number over but the company has promised that this feature will be available at some point.
The darker side of the TK6000
For people on a budget and trying to save money, the $100 dollar price tag is a lot to swallow. It is especially difficult because the company is new and there is no promise how long they will be around. At the time this article was written, NetTalk lacks local numbers to give out so if you do not live in a bigger area you may not be able to get a local number. This is very similar problem that Magic Jack had when they first started. It is also troublesome that the company does not offer support on the weekend. It most cases the TK6000 is as simple as plug and play but there are a few reported issues with compatibility issues with certain Internet modem/router hardware. In some cases it take some advanced configuration to get the TK600 to work.
Dan Borislow, the CEO of Magic Jack recently made a comment to an online tech magazine dismissing the new competitor.
It’s a piece of shit. It has static. The call quality is pathetic. There’s no phone numbers available, and it’s run by a bunch of fly-by-nights with no assets. They’ll be bankrupt soon. We’re a real company with the best network and best software.
Users have reported that the call quality with the NetTalk USB device to be equal or better than the Magic Jack. The obvious advantage you have with NetTalk is that you are not at the mercy of the performance of your computer. Often times slow or underperforming pcs get in the way of the quality of the call with the Magic Jack.
Only time will tell if the NetTalk TK6000 can truly compete with the well-established MagicJack. Another thing to consider is how many people are ditching their land lines altogether for cell phones. Magic Jack is betting on this trend with there new product dubbed the femtoJack which is due to be released soon.
Update: Nettalk has released the Nettalk Duo
Here is a fantastic user review of the NetTalk TK6000 that I wanted to include in this post.
I have been a MagicJack (MJ) users for almost two years now. I read a lot of the posting about TK6000 before I decided to give it a try. Nettalk offers 30-day money back. I have my NetTalk (NT) for over a month now and I have been very happy with it. I can use it without computer, but if I go to a location where there wireless Internet, I can plug the TK6000 directly into the USB, just like MJ. The two times in which I called Net Talk customer service I was pleased. The Customer service rep took the time to solve the problem I had and to explain other features in Nettalk. He helped me change my phone number to a local number, at no cost. I have tested TK6000 quality while downloading a large file from the Internet, and I got the same very good quality with and without downloading. This has been a major problem with Magic Jack.
I also like the three way calling/conferencing feature of TK6000. MJ is limited to the case of conferencing two people that call you. TK6000 allows you to call 2 different numbers and conference them. If someone calls you on TK6000 you can put the caller on hold, dial another number and conference everyone. I like seeing the caller ID on the phone set connected to TK6000. For MJ you have to buy a unit to connect between Magic Jack and your phone to be able to see the caller ID.
There are items that TK600 could improve. Voice mail now only gets to you as an e-mail file. You can not listen to your voice mail over the phone (like with MJ). Tk6000 does not have a softphone. But Net Talk plans to come up one soon.
Hope this helps.
Have a nice day.