Wonder what kind of computer is best for trading or what internet speed is required for online trading?
We caught up with AJ, Tradeguider’s Head of Customer Services, to find out more about the best technology for trading to make sure your tech setup doesn’t get in the way of your profits or steal your peace of mind. Here are his answers to five key tech questions.
1 – Can you run the Tradeguider software or VSA Lite on an old laptop without the processor speed or memory capabilities holding you back?
`This is a common question and we have a knowledge base article that is current for our core Tradeguider software products here.
These are the suggested minimums for a standard trading computer for the Chart Center, Smart Center, or Smart Center Pro products:
- Windows 10
- Quad-core Intel® 2.0 GHz (or similar)
- 6 GB RAM memory minimum but Windows consumes a lot of memory so 8 GB to 16 GB is better
- High-speed DSL/cable broadband internet connection with a minimum of 20 Mbps
- 64 GB HDD storage
Tradeguider’s software is not designed to run on Apple Macs, but it’s possible if you’re prepared to do the additional work required to configure it on a virtual machine running Windows. At the time of writing, we haven’t had a chance to thoroughly test this setup on Macs that use Apple’s new and proprietary M1 chipset.
VSA Lite for TradingView has lower requirements since the computing power is handled by the TradingView servers rather than on your own machine.`
2 – What internet bandwidth/throughput do you actually need for trading?
`We recommend a 20 Mbps download as the minimum speed. This can be accomplished many ways with current ADSL, cable, cellular, fiber optic, or satellite services. In testing we’ve found that the most reliable connections have been via cable or fiber optic service, though this will vary depending on which region you’re in.
The stability of the connection is also important. Even if the stated bandwidth is high, if your service is not stable and you are frequently disconnected then you will need to look for an alternative solution.
If you want to use cellular data, for example as a backup option to a fixed internet connection, then you’ll need a 5G connection. 4G can work in some circumstances but isn’t a reliable option for day-to-day use.`
3 – How do I choose between the many trading platforms out there?
`The choice of a trading platform is personal: ultimately it depends on your specific needs as a trader. So for example, are you only focused on one market such as FOREX or do you want to trade multiple markets such as FOREX and futures? These things should be factored into your choice of the trading platform to use.
Here is a short list of things to consider:
- Do you want a platform that is easier to use, or do you want a platform that offers more features?
- Do you want a free-to-use platform or are you willing to pay for it?
- What markets are you trading?
- Does the platform supply data for that market?
- Does the platform support your broker, or do you need to change brokers to use that platform?
- Can the platform provide data and or brokers for multiple markets?
- Do you want to run the platform on multiple computers at the same time, and will the platform provider allow that?`
4 – What backup solutions should I have to prevent downtime through technology failures?
`I have worked on workstations to servers and everything in-between and from this experience I would suggest the following as a minimum:
- You should always use a surge protector for a PC. Most battery backup devices have one built in, but if you don’t use one of these at least get a surge protector. Keep in mind that these have a lifespan: if they are older then you might want to replace them. It’s cheap insurance.
- If you are running a desktop PC, you should use a battery backup solution in case you lose power. It allows your computer to back up data and go into sleep mode, and most modern battery backup solutions offer this option. The size of the battery will depend on your desktop PC setup, but something that will allow it to save and close is all you need.
- Laptops are different as they have batteries so this is not as critical. They will go into sleep mode when the battery level is too low. If you have a laptop with an older battery that will not last more than a minute or two, then you should consider changing the battery or using a battery backup solution.
- Get a separate hard drive backup. These can be internal for a desktop PC or external for a desktop PC and laptop. These will save you the headache of having to reinstall everything and start over in the event of a catastrophic failure. Most of them have automated features that can run at specified times - for example when you are sleeping - to perform a backup. They are a cost-effective solution to saving you time.
- If it is in your budget get a second laptop as a backup. This is beneficial when you travel and can use it to trade. It’s also a backup in the sense that when your main PC/laptop goes down you can be back online in a short amount of time. Also keep in mind, your license of Chart Center, Smart Center, or Smart Center Pro allows you to install and activate the software on up to 2 of your own computers.`
5 – Should I get a dedicated graphics card or chip?
- `When you have a combined CPU/graphics chip then it will borrow memory from your installed RAM (memory) and reduce what is available overall. This will slow down the computer.
- Having a graphics card or chip with its own memory will free up memory in your computer system that is used in the chart and indicator computations, so that the full system memory can be used.
- You don’t need the latest high-end graphics, just something that has its own memory and does not use the system memory.
- Some trading platforms can utilize the computer’s graphics hardware to aid in the mathematical computations. This will help with the speed of calculating the charts and the VSA indicators. Having a dedicated graphics card or chip with its own memory will help considerably in this situation.`
So, these pointers will help you do your due diligence when it comes to making your purchase choices, but what about once you’ve got the item out of the box?
AJ reminds everyone not to be tempted to rush ahead and connect it without at least skim-reading the manual. The majority of tech support questions that we receive wouldn’t have come up if people had read the instructions first.
The longest distance between two points is a short cut.
TradeGuider is the home of Wyckoff VSA. We know that trading isn’t just about getting the right software which is why we provide support for veterans and newbies ranging from the tech setup to the Wyckoff VSA methodology and the best trading mindset. Our resource library covers all of that but if it`s information about technology you are looking for, check out our knowledge base.