Please to help with some advice

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by gt7000, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. gt7000


    Should I buy a second internet line?

    I currently have Comcast cable internet (with the 50-Mbps upgrade), which is actually quite fast, and suitable for my trading. The problem is, as everyone knows, the service cut can shut off without warning. While rare, this could be devastating (especially if it occurs while away from my desk, with open positions and stop orders).

    Is there a way to add a second line (T1, satellite, etc.), and set it up so it would automatically switch over to the other line if one goes down?

    Thank you all for your input.
  2. I think you need to ask yourself the business question: are the risks you are forced to undertake if your cable modem service suddenly cuts out worth the extra costs of protecting yourself with a second source of internet connection?

    >> Is there a way to add a second line (T1, satellite, etc.), and set it up so it would automatically switch over to the other line if one goes down? <<

    You would need to buy a special router for that. The one that would take 2 separate uplinks to go to the Internet. The router itself will do the load-balancing and auto switch over. The second line can be a low grade (low cost) DSL if you don't want to pay high monthly expenses. Just to get yourself covered. (Because the DSL throughput is quite low compared to cable modems. 5 Mbps is the max you can have.)

    Another option you can consider is: buy a cell phone tether line to use your cell phone to connect to the internet as needed when your cable modem is out. It is not automatic but if you can deal with a few minutes of reconnection. Or you can buy an aircard.

    And layout all emergency backup plans, document them, have them handy. Cell phone to call broker to close out positions? A near by FedEx Kinko where you can use your laptop to connect to the internet... etc..

    Murphy's Laws. Always...
  3. Mr. M

    Mr. M

    You need a dual wan router behind the two modems you want to use. Say you want cable broadband and a dsl fall back. You need a cable modem and a dsl modem for each respective technology/line. Then from each connect to the single dual wan router with ethernet cable which can load balance your network over the two connections.
  4. If you're going to add a second back up line, it should use a different connection type, hence if you already use a cable based internet service and the cable or fiber optic line for example is accidently cut by a service worker then you want to have a different type of back up ready( probably satellite or 3g - 4g wireless a la verizon or att, etc).

    I use verizon 4g wireless for back up.... around $60/mo
  5. Among other things I host a few servers and machines for traders. (That means that I'm responsible if the internet goes down or their HDD dies or their video card dies.)

    Most of what I provide to them out of my home or office (versus in racks at a data center) is "demo" and "development" machines. The thing about a demo account is you are in an evaluation phase so if anything goes wrong it only begs the question about what could go wrong again - so my home & office "dev/demo" boxes need to be as good or better than my colo boxes.

    Think about it this way - ever notice how the dealer puts you in a loaded, leather, all-options, sport-package car for your test drive rather than a POS beater?

    So finally... getting to the point... I'm moving in a month and looking at similar options.

    At home (since you are looking at home service) I currently have a Time Warner Cable 50down/5up DOCSIS 3.0 service for $99/month paired with an ATT sDSL line for $35/month (and an ATT Wireless card for desperate measures). I've never used the sDSL. ( << [for comparison between aDSL vs. sDSL] or the 4G for anything business related.

    Put a T1 in the same category as a Porsche - everyone knows they cost around $100k so if you have to ask you probably can't afford it. A Porsche isn't a Ferrari - just like a T1 isn't an Ethernet solution - but if you have to ask...

    A real T1 is going to cost you between $550 and $1,100/month. It is only 1.54 symmetrical but keep in mind you can run up to 9 Bloomberg Terminals on a single T1 line. (Which means if you were paying for one you'd probably use that as your primary not your backup.)

    Satellite is really sketchy - I don't advise it ever. It can go out in storms and bad weather - same type of weather that might knock down power lines or kill your power. Latency is really horrible and 3G/4G speeds are usually equal or better than satellite. Ever rent a car with Sirus or XM-Radio and notice how it goes out when you drive under a bridge or if there are trees above you >>> Well in a really bad rain/snow storm your satellite dish is going to be messed up and you'll be outside in the rain/snow trying to sort out your backup connection - just don't do it.

    I think your best bet would be to keep your cable subscriber's plan and then if you think you need something else try a $30/month DSL line. Pay up the extra $5-$15 for sDSL vs. aDSL. Or just get a wireless tether plan.

    In my experience it takes up to 30-45 seconds for a router with load balancing or failover to switch over (1-2 seconds for regular business class with static IPs, etc. but longer for residential/retail with dynamic IP). In 30-45 seconds you can be on the phone with your broker or at least half way there and ready to get flat.

    I know this is getting long and I tend to ramble on but here is my recommendation:

    Look at it this way:

    If it hits the fan and you go down it will be faster (and possibly cheaper) to call your broker and get flat than it will be to screw around with fail-over and re-logging into your new accounts (most windows machines & routers & switches will want a reboot/restart or at least a release/renew).

    #1 Call broker - push the "oh shit" button (aka the staples easy button) and get flat

    #2 Get back online if possible (if short-term outage) (keep a text file with ping times to things like and (and your broker) so that you have an idea of your service)

    #3 Call ISP and tear them a new one, get a $25 to one-month-free discount off your bill

    #4 Decide if you should keep trading for the day or if it's over & done and figure it out tomorrow.

    #5 Go play golf, pick the kids up from school, meet the wife for lunch, etc. - but know that your mind is probably out of it for the day and you'd be better off eating any losses and moving on.

    The first desk I sat on an older guy used to have a 10:30 cutoff and go buy a bottle of booze/wine if he was down and told the risk manager to close him out for the day. I was shocked but he said a $30 bottle of wine or booze was cheaper than losing another $xxxx. Think about your internet going down in a similar fashion.

    If you have so much risk on that you can't afford to lose connectivity then you have no business trading over a line that could go down.
  6. some good responses in this thread. you need to balance between the cost of protecting yourself against the likelihood of a problem and potential magnitude of loss.

    Dual WAN is obviously one way, Could you fall back on prepaid mobile internet dongle for mobile broadband?
  7. easymon1


  8. I'm also using a 3g backup to my DSL. It's a decent solution, but i'll probably get cable soon as a third backup just in case.
  9. Couldn't one just have a modem and dial-up service as backup? 1. Likely to use it infrequently/never, 2. Cheap, and 3. dialup has adequate bandwidth... certainly enough to place a few orders to close out positions.

    I traded for years on dialup... with the same software and data streams I have now... Never an issue of bandwidth.
  10. Get into the cloud

    buy datacenter space

    almost perfect reliability... amazon went down I think once since it went live a few years ago

    also closer to the exchange than your pc

    dialup? :D NO it is not enough bandwidth. open task manager and see how much bandwidth trading takes.

    edit --

    satellite - very expensive, but I use it. It's nice. I would use it in a dire situation. bandwidth is limited. I would rather go to 3g or 4g if possible. a decent satcom won't go out in storms if your on a ultra portable unit.
    #10     Mar 7, 2012