I'm in Canada. Currently, the only service I have is a cellphone through SoloMobile with unlimited North American long distance--expensive, but necessary. Trust me when I say that I make enough calls to the States that getting a calling card would actually be more expensive.
I may be in a position in the near future of not only making a lot of calls TO the States, but also fielding a lot of calls FROM the States...and while I have no problem paying for the long distance costs, I imagine not everyone I'll be dealing with feels the same.
This would be a non-issue if Google Voice were available in Canada. I'd just give out the GV number and have that forward to my cellphone. That's unfortunately not an option.
I came across the Magic Jack, which is a VoIP dongle that you can plug into your laptop, and you can plug a regular analog phone into said dongle. Ostensibly you can pick a random US number and have people call that number to reach you. If your computer is turned off, the call either goes to voicemail or it can be forwarded. This seems like the perfect solution for me, especially since it seems like I don't have to leave my computer on all the time and I could still get transferred calls wherever I am on my cellphone.
The reviews have been pretty mixed. PC Mag's primary issue with it seems to be lack of tech support, which I'm personally not too concerned about, but BoingBoing seems to be concerned about spyware as well. There was a question
about it from 2008, with only three answers, so I thought I'd try again.
Does anyone have experience with MagicJack, either in Canada or in the State? Alternatively, does anyone have any better suggestions for how to make it easy for US contacts to get in touch with me?