IB Alternatives

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by bcavender, Aug 14, 2003.

  1. After reviewing the IB-at-work firewall techie threads here, I sadly have to scratch IB from my list of potential brokers. For me...Mr. Murphy would make an inelegant Fwall bypass come apart under the worst possible circumstances.

    It's pretty obvious that the technology for getting around the firewall issue is not rocket science for a number of brokers and data providers.

    A large company like IB could do it....if it wanted to. But quite frankly, in my humble opinion, I think they don't fix it because they view it as an silent but deadly 80/20 filter for low value customers. Pareto's law guarantees that eighty percent of their revenue comes from the top twenty percent of traders that are out on their own (and probably not stuck behind a firewall). If IB's vision is to strictly minimize the expense associated with customer support, why should they take a four fold increase in less experienced users to make only 20% more money? It has to be pretty much a conscious decision to keep out what they view as unwelcome (low value) customers. In their defense, with the growth they have seen over the last year or so...it is hard to argue the issue from their stockholder's viewpoint. So be it. Nonetheless, I need a home for my unwelcome, 28-years-of-investing account...that can be seen from behind a Fwall. (With 48 months to get the big medical benefits from corp retirement, it doesn't make much economic sense to chuck a high level job just because IT won't process port 2000.)

    QUESTION FOR THIS THREAD: Who are the other ...visible... retail brokers that have a reasonable commish structure for domestic AND international stocks, good executions....AND lets you hold foreign currencies like IB? Who is their closest competitor?

    Regards,
    Bruce
     
  2. TGregg

    TGregg

    Never had a problem using TWS from behind a firewall, either at the office where I used to work, or at home.
     
  3. Each IT Firewall group has its differences. Mine is pretty tight and inflexible.

    I just got PointDiretx's TCPIP info back. They need three open ports, 554, 9500 and 11,000. Unfortunately they are domestic only and don't do currencies.

    EmpireNow does foreign stocks...Fees? (3cents/sh, but with a $125minimum) ($40minCanadian). Too steep for me.

    Bruce
     
  4. acg

    acg

    There is a way around the IB (and any other non-graphics intensive) firewall problem. Get a subscription to gotomypc.com, run IB from your machine at home and access this machine through gotomypc. This works fine for me through my compay firewall, though it does rely on the internet connections running at a good clip. It's not elegant but it is functional.
    This may already have been covered in the tech thread you mentioned. If so I apologize for a lack of originality.
     
  5. fleance

    fleance

    I have used VNC (free) to control my home PC from work.
    The protocal is very efficient and it works ok.

    I think it uses a single port like 5901 or something. (I think the FAQ says what port(s) it uses).

    http://www.realvnc.com/
     
  6. acg

    acg

    I have tried timbuktu / vnc / http tunneler. The advantage I found with gotomypc is that it worked without any proxy alterations / port opening requirements in my case. This can be pretty useful if you do not have an amenable IT outfit willing to open ports at your behest.
     
  7. Round trip travel from my office through my home PC via DirecWay (Satellite Internet) to IBrokers and back would incur 176,000 miles of space travel (4 full hops) plus whatever terrestrial internet miles also happen to come into play...for every packet. In its defense, two hops for normal access (88,000 space miles) works amazingly well when you consider what is really going on. The IB Java test did work fine over 2 hops of Direcway. But in my estimation 4 hops would be pushing it too close to the edge for day in day out trading. (Also, intense rain cells can cause outages that last 10-20min as it passes over.)

    If the machine to machine protocol is the least bit "back and forth chatty", the propagation delay for 4 hops translates into SLOW going. Add to that the complexity of so much stuff to go wrong...well you can see another reason why I seek a broker with a simple, elegant implementation.

    I want to trade not troubleshoot networks/proxies/tunneling services.....

    Thanks for the thoughts....
    Bruce
     
  8. Huh?
     
  9. Round trip travel from my office through my home PC via DirecWay (Satellite Internet) to IBrokers and back would incur 176,000 miles of space travel (4 full hops) plus whatever terrestrial internet miles also happen to come into play...for every packet. In its defense, two hops for normal access (88,000 space miles) works amazingly well when you consider what is really going on. The IB Java test did work fine over 2 hops of Direcway. But in my estimation 4 hops would be pushing it too close to the edge for day in day out trading. (Also, intense rain cells can cause outages that last 10-20min as it passes over.)

    If the machine to machine protocol is the least bit "back and forth chatty", the propagation delay for 4 hops translates into SLOW going. Add to that the complexity of so much stuff to go wrong...well you can see another reason why I seek a broker with a simple, elegant implementation.

    I want to trade not troubleshoot networks/proxies/tunneling services.....

    Thanks for the thoughts....
    Bruce
     
  10. fan27

    fan27

    Did you consider LoopHole/SocksCap5 combination. Worked great for me.
     
    #10     Aug 15, 2003