Question about DSL speed options

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jimrockford, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. Can anyone advise me as to the following options as to DSL for trading?

    I am only concerned with trading for purposes of selecting the speed of my DSL. I can continue with my current speed of 768K, at a lower cost. Or I can upgrade to 1.5M for higher cost, or to 3.0M for higher cost still.

    Will it matter for purposes of trading? For trading, is 768K just as good as 1.5M or 3.0M?
  2. It depends on your needs. Answer the following:

    1. What do you trade?
    2. How much data will you need? How many charts will be open at one time?
    3. How many markets do you watch?
    4. How important is execution speed to you?
    5. Will the connection be used for anything else?

    If execution is important, then check the latency (ping speed) and the number of hops to your broker. The bandwidth gives you a bigger pipe to download data through but will not effect the speed of this data.
  3. Thanks, Futurestrader71,

    Let me see.

    I trade SPY and QQQQ. I also watch a couple of other ETFS, and also the major U.S. stock equity index e-mini futures contracts, and the light sweet crude oil e-mini, and the major U.S. stock equity indices. I use Quotetracker. I will have about half a dozen charts displayed at a time. Quotetracker often pegs my CPU at a 100% and falls very far behind the datafeed, but all I need do is minimize QT and this problem goes away, so I believe this particular bottleneck is in my video display or in QT, not in my internet connection, and I plan to ask QT support for his advice on that problem. I think and hope that this speed problem has nothing to do with my DSL speed, but I am giving all the details just in case.
    Execution speed is extremely important to me. The connection would also be used for standard web-browsing and reading ET, etc., while I am trading, and also I heavily use the Prophet Java charts website while trading.

    I hope this gives enough detail, so what do you think?
  4. 1.5 Mbps is sufficient. Check the ping speed and the hops to figure out if that particular service is better or the same as cable or something else. Be very careful about running your trading software with charts and using that same machine for email and surfing. This spells more trouble than the savings of not buying a second machine for trading purposes only.

    Good luck.
  5. Futurestrader71,

    I forgot to mention that cable is not an option where I live, because of extremely poor performance problems which the cable company is unable to remedy. So my choices are limited to DSL, DSL, and DSL. I can choose between 3 different speeds. So the only question is what speed do I need.

    If I understand you correctly, your advice against web-surfing and trading is based on security concerns, not speed issues. Is that correct? Also, if I understand, increased bandwidth will only help if the amount of data I am moving is large enough to fill up the pipe. If I am below that threshold, then increased bandwidth will not matter. Is this correct? And if I use a machine for trading only, as you advise, would you still recommend the 1.5M, or do you think 768K would be just as good?
  6. 768k is almost always more than enough. I don't know the programs you use, but it's very unlikely to generate more than 96 KB/s other than when downloading files.
  7. I think that 1.5M is the most you will ever need. My advice to not surf on the trading machine is based on security risks mainly but is also a processing issue. For example, I use CQG and when I have a lot of charts up with a lot of studies, CQG takes up 80% of the processing power such that my VoIP and other services get chopped up. I trade on a separate machine on a separate network, but this is just an example. It makes sense since you would want your trading machine to be up all the time and without delay. I think the cost savings between 768k and 1.5M are probably marginal, so I recommended the 1.5Mbps connection for extra bandwidth in case you require it for all the charts and data that you need.

    There is no problem trying the 768kbps first and seeing how that works. Switching to higher bandwidth takes minutes since it is a software limiter on the ISP's side in most cases.

    Good luck.
  8. omniscient

    omniscient Guest

    i agree that 1.5 is typically quite sufficient. data feeds don't usually require much bandwidth, but can you ever have too much? :D go for the 1.5 over 768. or you could go for the "Uh, okay" technique of some of business customers. they pay for a full T1 but have it throttled down to 128k, because they are confident their needs will not exceed 128k :confused: hey, it's their coin ... :)

    keep in mind also that adding a second surf-only machine:

    1. doesn't really do anything to lessen the bandwidth burden for the charting/trading machine; it just pushes the added bandwidth requirements onto a second machine
    2. doesn't prevent malicious code/apps/etc from getting onto your main machine via your network

    unless you have a truly diversified network with dedicated routing devices, your main machine can still be susceptible to the ills encountered by your surfing machine. though, your charting/trading box can just as easily infect your other PC as well.

    to take it a bit further, what you can do is create a highly locked down network for your charting/trading machines and a 'dirty' network for your surfing and email. basically, on the locked down network you could limit it to access only the ports needed for your trading and charting apps. filter out everything else that isn't explicitly necessary for your applications. it's a bit more work, takes more time, is less flexible, but if your current security measures are inadequate, it is an option. then on your 'dirty' network you can leave it pretty open with some basic filters and firewall and call it good.

    anyway, just a couple of things to keep in mind.


    take care and gtty -

  9. Thanks to all who replied for their valuable advice.
  10. JackR



    Missed your question about DSL speed earlier.

    If you're running Windows XP open task manager (Ctrl-Alt-Delete). On the menu bar open View. Go down to Update Speed. Set it to High. Then go down to the Networking tab. You will see a graph at the top with a % scale at the left-hand side. Below the graph is a window showing Network Utilization in %. as well as Link Speed. The Link Speed is the speed between your PC and your modem or router, not the DSL speed. However, if you only have one PC operating the percent utilization is a relatively accurate representation of your DSL link usage. That is, the chart will probably be based on a 100 Mbps link speed and therefore 1% equals 1 Mbps, 0.5% equals 500 Kbps.

    Bring up your normal stuff and see what percentage you are running. The peaks shown in the graph are much more representative than are the numbers shown below. At the bottom on the frame you'll also see the CPU usage and memory usage (Commit Charge).

    When you are done restore the monitoring speed back to normal. The Task Manager is a high priority task and at high speed it will slow down the your other programs because it preempts them.

    The network utilization you see will give you a feel for what speed you might need/want. You could bring up some different programs when you don't have any trades on to get a feel for their effect on your DSL usage and the need for additional capacity.

    #10     Sep 8, 2005