Have you seen the ads lately for wireless routers that are attractive enough to set on a bookshelf in plain view?
Yes, routers and modems are generally one of the least attractive pieces of equipment you own. Crafty people have been devising all sorts of eye-pleasing hiding boxes for these little “uglies” for years.
For traders, however, having an ugly wireless router on display is nothing in comparison to the havoc it could wreak on your trading if you lose your internet signal.
Here are some wireless best practices all traders should follow.
#1 – If at all possible, plug in.
In almost all situations, I don’t recommend going wireless for trading. Wireless routers should always have at least one place where you can plug in an Ethernet cable from your trading computer.
Wired connections will give you the best performance, hands down.
- Your connection speed will be faster.
- Your connection will be more reliable.
- Your connection will be more secure.
- Your connection will be less susceptible to interference.
#2 – If you must use wireless, follow these tips to minimize the possibility of trading loss due to your internet connection.
- Don’t hide the router behind something (like a door or wall). Anything that physically gets in the way of the signal increases your risk. In fact, if you can, mount it on or near the ceiling.
- Spend the money and get a top-quality router. Cheaper models have lower transmission power which increases the likelihood of a dropped signal and forces you to be closer to the router to get a connection.
- Avoid trading wirelessly at the same time your kid is playing video games. It probably won’t degrade your service, but why take the chance?
- Check to be sure your router isn’t using the same frequency as your cordless phone (usually 2.4GHz) as this could cause interference.
- Like to work at the kitchen table? Don’t run your trading laptop within 10 feet of a microwave oven, just in case (again, to avoid interference).
- Turn off Bluetooth on your trading laptop, and don’t use a Bluetooth earpiece with your cell phone while trading (yep, interference again).
#3 – Be prepared to troubleshoot.
You never know when something is going to go wrong with your internet service. But something will go wrong. When that happens, you don’t want to be digging behind the sofa to see what lights are lit on your router and modem.
Be prepared by following these guidelines.
- Orient your router and modem so you can easily check on the connections with just a glance.
- Write down the directions for how to re-initialize your internet connection. You may even want to tape these directions, and your cable company’s technical support number, to the bottom of the modem or router.
Remember, if suddenly your system isn’t working, every second you can save on checking the status of connections is a second closer to a solution (and to avoiding loss).
When is wireless ok for trading?
I know it’s tempting to lean back in your comfy recliner and still keep on trading. Or maybe you aren’t able to sit at a desk. Or maybe you’re traveling. For these situations, trading on a laptop is “ok” if it’s the best you can do.
Just be aware that your trades are at higher risk for data loss, and make sure you’re willing to take that risk.
There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyers guide. Check out our “How To Buy a Trading Computer” e-book.
Remember, we are here to help with all your technology related questions. If you think of additional questions about computer hardware or other questions, give me a call. My team and I are here to help. We’re happy to answer any of your questions about trading computers via phone: 800-387-5250