When you are trading on your trading computer, you need to have every part of your system working at peak performance in order to avoid slippage and consequent loss of profit. So when your internet connection slows down, it can directly affect your bottom line. And you might not even notice small drops in performance at first.
Your connection can slow down for various reasons. Instead of getting frustrated, it’s better to take a scientific approach and think about the most likely cause. It can help you find the underlying problems and resolve them.
Here are some reasons you can investigate.
Slow Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Your ISP provides the bandwidth for your internet connection. If you signed a deal a long time ago, you might still be using a slow connection.
In the last few years, ISPs have made a lot of progress, and bandwidths have improved. But you have to sign up for these new plans.
For your home network, it’s relatively easy. You just contact the ISP and find out if there are improvements available. For office networks, you can talk with your IT department.
Some companies have bandwidth restrictions for certain departments within the company. Ask your IT team to find out if there are any such restrictions.
If you work in a public area like a coffee shop or a shared workspace, your options might be limited. You’ll just have to live with it or go to a new location.
When you are using Wi-Fi, the quality of your internet connection will depend on how close you are to the Wi-Fi router. Obstructions like walls or desks can deteriorate the quality.
Try out different positions to make sure obstructions are not causing any slowdowns. (See my earlier blog post here for more tips on this.)
Outdated Router or Trading Computer
Wi-Fi standards are changing and improving. If your router is old and your trading computer is new, you might not be getting the full benefit of your new computer’s capacity.
The newest routers use the popular 802.11ac standard. It provides faster speed than previous standards like 802.11a or 802.11g.
On the flip side, if your trading computer is old and has a network card that uses an older Wi-Fi standard, you will be stuck at that speed.
Microwave ovens and other electronic devices can interfere with the strength of your WiFi signal. Position your trading computer to minimize this interference.
If you have a kitchen in your office, make sure it’s located at a good distance from the work area. The same goes for using your computer at home.
And with multi-monitor trading computers, make sure your router is away from the monitors.
Poor Mobile Coverage or Carrier Restrictions
For mobile devices, your network speed will depend on carrier coverage. It might vary from city to city, area to area. If you think your carrier is the problem, try out another carrier to verify.
Also, with unlimited plans, carriers often throttle speed if you “overuse” data. You might want to read your contract to find the small print and see what the policy is.
Bandwidth is a limited resource. If all the computers in your house are accessing the internet at the same time, you are bound to see a slowdown. In a public place, if too many people connect, it will slow down the internet.
Sometimes there is no way around these slowdowns. If multiple family members need to be on the internet at the same time, consider getting a second line just for trading to make sure you always have enough bandwidth. Or, consider subscribing to a backup connection for emergency downtimes or times of heavy traffic.
When your internet slows down, your Internet Service Provider becomes an easy target. But they aren’t always the source of the problem.
Before you say something to a help desk person you’ll later regret, look over this list of causes and see if addressing any of them fixes your problem. Your blood pressure will be glad you did.
We hope today’s Quick Tip helped you. If you found this helpful, you’ll want to check out the other computer How-To’s I’ve created on this page. You can always call us if you have questions: 800-387-5250