Wi-fi Trading

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by hanseng1, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. Ok, I must first state I suffer from extreme tech ignorance. The extent of my computing knowledge went obsolete about two years ago.

    I am going to have to switch to a variable schedule throughout my days. This means I will not be at a computer most of the time and will have to move around frequently. However, I still want to monitor my trades.

    My question is this: would a laptop and a wi-fi connection be feasible? I am not familiar with wi-fi, but I know we have plenty of "hot spots" here in downtown Portland. To get internet access, do I need to get some sort of special internet account through an ISP or is it a free connection? Could I hook up to my home LAN and use that internet connection?

    Put most simply; what do I have to buy/who do I have to pay to get my laptop hooked up to wireless internet?


    P.S. I tried to do some internet research, but everyone is trying to sell you something and, in the process of their sales pitches, the more I read the less I understand.
  2. couple of things --

    1. First you need either a Wifi card, a WiFi USB key, or a Intel Centrino with built in wireless chip. The USB key, you could also use on a desktop and you could attach/detach it from a laptop fairly easily. Either one will do. Netgear is a good manufacturer (D-Link sells a cheaper USB key), but D-Link, Linksys, or any will do.

    2. There are plenty of hot-spot providers, some free, some not. Check for free ones at www.netstumbler.com

    3. T-Mobile offers Wifi at most Starbucks and Borders. The cost for unlimited use is b/t $20-40 a month ($20 if you have a phone account with them). Other providers are Boingo and Wayport
  3. opm8


    Hey, local Portlander!

    Would it be feasible? I wouldn't trust my trading connection to some crappy wireless network. I have one at home and it's up and down sporadically even in line-of-sight range. OK for browsing but garbage for a dependable steady stream of info. Depends on your trading style and goals.

    Nothing is free, you'll have to pay for the commercial ones and rely on someone's idea of a community project for the free ones.

    You can hook up to your local LAN if you have a wireless access point there. That means you'd need to be within 100 ft or so. You could conceivably put up a broadcasting antenna and get a straight-line range in the miles but this is not easy.

    There's plenty of local hotspots but be prepared to shell out for the privilege. Some Starbucks have them but it's quite pricey (I don't know the going rate), and surely there's others. There's also user-owned hotspots where someone shares their cable/dsl from home.

    Check out www.personaltelco.net and a bunch of others found in a Google 'Portland wifi' search .

  4. I've a home wifi-LAN and an account with TMobile's HotSpot network as well. Your laptop's wifi card will lock-on to any wifi signal in the local-area, but you'll need to find one that isn't WEP-encrypted, most home/office LANs are encrypted. It's simply a matter of connecting to any "open" network that is producing sufficient RF.

    At home, it's simply a matter of purchasing a wireless router and a few minutes of setup/config. Linksys makes an excellent line of routers that are very simple to config; you'll need your ISP user and pswd(if PPPoE).


    Tmobile has an unlimited access plan for $30/monthly that is national. You can use it anywhere you see the TMobile "HotSpot" logo, Starbucks has the largest HotSpot presence.
  5. Thanks for the replies.

    We have a Starbucks about every other corner up here, so that's not going to be a problem. Also, $30 is pretty cheap.

    Do you have any other suggestions for wireless trading? I am not a day trader, so instantaneous and accurate prices aren't my concern. However, I enter swing trades on intraday data, and I'm not near a stationary computer enough to enter my trades. Until I get a wireless connection, mobile lifestyle = missed trades.

    I looked at AT&T satillite internet, but it is $70 per month. Are there any other alternatives, ore is wi-fi the best route for me?

    Once again, please excuse my tech ignorrance.

  6. Do you have broadband at home? You'll need a BB connection at home to feed the network. I have DSL and cable at home.

    I also run Verizon's 3G wireless CDMA wireless modem when I'm not near a hotspot. I get approx. 70Kbps, a bit better than dial-up. It's $80/month and will work anywhere Verizon offers cell-service.

    Satellite has large latencies, but not an issue if you're not trading high-frequency. If satellite is your only BB option for the home, then I'd certainly start there, then buy a router...
  7. After hearing your situation, I think T-mobile's hotspot is definitely the way to go for you...if $30 is cheap for you and there is a Starbucks on every corner -- I've found their connections to be quite reliable -- and if you're a swing trader, the reliability will hopefully be more than sufficient...
  8. I have Earhlink DSL at home. We also have a Starbucks on the bottom floor of our building. I just talked our assistant manager here, and she said that a couple of the residents use the Starbucks hotspot as their primary connection in their apartment.

    The satellite I was referring to was the GSM plan from AT&T Wireless. Unlimited access for $70/month.

    I am starting to lean towards the wi-fi route after doing a bit more research and hearing your comments.

    Thank you.
  9. Ahh, gotcha... you simply buy a router and plug your DSL connection from the DSL modem to the router, simple as that. Buy a "cat5" cable and run the cable from the router to a desktop(if you have one). Laptops can connect to the router's RF.

    If you travel, or spend a lot of time trading remotely, then get the hotspot account as well, you'll have redundancy.

    I don't run my trading apps from my wifi; I maintain an ethernet connection with my minitower pc, the laptops are on the wifi. The router supports a ethernet connection and wireless.

    LOL, envious of Starbux in the bldg... :p
  10. danjos


    I am also new at this wireless technology.
    I have heard that people can trade from car on the street (or train). What can of connection one would have to be able to do this?
    Also, if I plan to go camping e.g. in the west virginia mountains. Can I get a connection to the internet? WHat type of connection should I get?

    #10     Apr 15, 2004