Most serious forex traders use a virtual server for their expert advisors, but not all VPS server are equal in performance.
There are about 4 popular VPS technologies:
- Virtuozzo: Virtuozzo is a proprietary operating system-level virtualization product produced by Parallels, Inc. Both windows and Linux. Parallels Virtuozzo Containers creates multiple isolated containers (also known as Virtual Environments (VEs), or Virtual Private Servers (VPSs)) on a single physical server. Parallels Virtuozzo Containers virtualizes at the operating system level, rather than the hardware level as other Virtual Machine (VM) products frequently do. This allows the sharing of hardware, systems management effort, and sometimes software licenses among different workloads. A container behaves in aspects as if it was a stand-alone server. But this is not the optimal vitalization technology for forex trading because the VPS vendor can over sell the machines and give you less optimal performance.
- OpenVZ: OpenVZ is container-based virtualization for Linux. OpenVZ creates multiple secure, isolated containers (also known as VEs or VPSs) on a single physical server enabling better server utilization and ensuring that applications do not conflict. Each container performs and executes exactly like a stand-alone server; a container can be rebooted independently and have root access, users, IP addresses, memory, processes, files, applications, system libraries and configuration files. This technology is better suited for forex trading.
- Xen: Xen is a free software virtual machine for IA-32, x86-64, IA-64 and PowerPC 970 architectures. On most CPUs, Xen uses a form of virtualization known as paravirtualization, meaning that the guest operating system must be modified to use a special hypercall ABI instead of certain architectural features. Intel has contributed modifications to Xen to support their VT-x (formerly Vanderpool) architecture extensions. Similarly AMD has contributed support for their AMD-V extensions. Because of the Kernel modifications need it to run this is not recommended for Forex Trading.
- Microsoft Hyper-V: Microsoft Hyper-V which is a hypervisor-based technology that provides true Hardware Virtualization and High level of Isolation from other virtual machines on the physical server. With the use of this new virtualization technology, users no longer have to worry about having their services being affected by other resource intensive services running on the same box. This is the best choice for Forex trading because of the great isolation this technology offers.
When you use a VPS service you will be sharing the computer resources with all other users on the machine which is why is essential that your portion of the computer is not being affected by the other users. On Virtuozzo VPS services you may experience great performance and a total computer freeze at time, not the optimal scenario for live trading.
After having tested many VPS technologies we highly recommend that you use only Hyper-V VPS host, the platform is very stable and the resources are always available. That leads to the best choice for running your expert advisors.
Below you have two images of 4xWatch running on different types of VPS of technologies .
On the first image we see how our Virtuozzo VPS fail for just a few seconds every other minute. That was probably cause by another user/users of the same node overloading the server and cause our MetaTrader to loose an accumulated 27 minutes on just one day.
Are second server is using the Hyper-V tecnolotegy , it has the same amount of RAM and is connected to the same server on the same Broker. But the 4xWatch reports a totally different story, the connection is rock solid true out the day with only a small disconnection during rollover.
This demonstrate how important is choosing the best VPS technology, your results will very depending on the load of the non Hyper-V server load.
This tip is to debunk the conspiracy theories about Forex Brokers deleting your trade journal in order to erase evidence of their wrongdoing; since we started discussing the Virtual Dealer Plugin people have sent us many inquiries of the whereabouts of the trade Journal.
The problem is that in some systems when you right click on the Journal Tab of the MetaTrader 4 Terminal and choose open, the folder where the Journal is stored opens but it is empty, no files at all, the assumption is that the broker has reached out from the Internet and deleted the files; but in this case is not your broker, the cause for this strange behavior lies on a new Windows Feature called UAC (user account control).
Users of MetaTrader 4 running under Windows Vista or any future versions like Windows 7 may find it impossible to locate the trade Journal and the Expert’s logs at their usual location. For example on a typical Windows XP installation the path to the journal would be something like:
C:\Program Files\FOREX.com FT\Logs
On the same install in a Windows 7 you would think to look at the same location for the Journal at:
C:\Program Files (x86)\FOREX.com FT\Logs
But after navigation to the above folder you find that it’s empty, the reason is that windows has moved all the data to a especial folder called the Virtual Store, which is inside the user’s folder under the name of the current user in a folder about 6 layers deep. The fastest way to get to the journal is by replacing the driver letter on the path for the words %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore, let’s give you an example by correcting the above path:
%LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\FOREX.com FT\Logs
By navigating to the above path you will be able to find all the Journals for your MT4 since you started using this terminal.
To avoid this problem of not being able to easily find the Journals the best solution is to reinstall Meta Trader 4 again on a different folder, the UAC protection is only active if the program is installed under the “Program Files (x86)” folder, my suggestion is to install your MetaTrader 4 terminals on a different folder called C:\Meta Trader\, this way your program will run just like it did on XP and you will be able to right click on the Journal Tab and quickly open the Journal.
By changing the installation folder of MetaTrader 4 you will also be fixing other bad side effects of UAC such as:
- Inability of receiving Updates to the terminal if MetaTrader 4 is installed inside of the UAC protected folder. You should visit the Metaquotes forum and make sure you are running the latest version of the terminal ( http://forum.mql4.com/) at the writing of this article the latest build was 402.
- UAC can also interfere with your trading if you run advanced expert advisor that rely on data that’s been stored in the same folder as MetaTrader 4
- Loading history to get 90% Modeling quality during back-testing into MetaTrader 4 can be very difficult if UAC is on.
I hope this helps you understand that MetaTrader 4 was not design to work well in this conditions and there should be more than enough reasons for you not to run MetaTrader 4 on Windows Vista under the “Program Files (x86)” folder.Read More
Trading Forex is hard enough already, but when you add an unreliable or unscrupulous broker into the mix, hard becomes impossible! Having a great strategy or the best trading robot is not enough when your broker is playing against you or is simply unreliable.
The following red flags will help you identify bad brokers before is too late:
What makes a reliable Broker:
- Fast response time when opening and closing trades.
- 100% up time, loosing connection to you broker for even a few minutes can be a disaster.
What makes an honest Broker:
- Low spreads and low spread spikes during news events.
- No re-quotes or very few, there is not technical reason to re-quote your trades if your connection to the broker is solid.
- Not changing the leverage when the market liquidity is down.
- Low commission rate.
- True Swap Rates.
- No Slippage when closing trades.
- Not running the infamous Virtual Plug-in.
We have developed some great safety tools to keep you protected while you trade. Our safety tool suite will help you:
- Detect and diagnose connection issues
- Detect costly Metatrader conflicts
- Detect if your broker is using the Virtual Dealer Plug-in
- and more
MT4 Security Package:
- 4xSentinel will keep your broker honest by checking the most important trade aspects, like re-quotes, slippages, delays in execution time, margin changes and spread spikes.
- 4xWatch will monitor and diagnose your connection with the broker to alert you of any issues.
- 4xGhost will check periodically if any other MT4 instances are in conflict with your trading platform.
For a limited time get all 3 safety tools and receive a 15% discount.
Learn more about our MT4 Security PackageRead More
Citi has launched CitiFX Pro, its online foreign exchange trading platform for experienced individual and small institutional traders, in the United Kingdom. Following successful launches in the US, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, CitiFX Pro is now available to UK traders who qualify as “professional clients,” as defined by the rules of the Financial Services Authority.
Sasha Serebrinsky, Citi’s Manager of Margin Foreign Exchange for Europe and the Middle East said, “The UK launch of CitiFX Pro offers UK-based clients all of the advantages of trading FX through a global leader, including excellent liquidity and access to its highly regarded research and market commentary. We offer experienced individuals and small institutions a flexible product with tight pricing, which could make a difference to our clients’ bottom line.”
CitiFX Pro offers highly competitive pricing to UK clients – as low as 1.2 pips in the EUR/USD. The CitiFX Pro platform provides liquidity in over 130 currencies and research from local sources in key markets. Clients can access accounts and trade on a real-time basis on four platforms: CitiFX Pro Desktop, Web, Mobile and MetaTrader 4.
Sanjay Madgavkar, Global Head of Margin Foreign Exchange trading at Citi, said, “The UK launch of CitiFX Pro is an important step for our global business. We are pleased to bring our value proposition of cost-effective trading and great technology and liquidity to clients in a key global FX market. We look forward to launching CitiFX Pro in other markets in Europe and Asia in 2011.”Read More
Metatrader 5 (also known as MT5) is the next generation of the Metatrader software package. MT5 will make it possible for brokers to trade a wide variety of financial instruments.
Boston Technologies ( the same folks that created the infamous MT4 Virtual Broker Plugin ) recently compared MetaTrader 4 to the newly released MetaTrader 5. Check out our review of MT5 below.
Source Boston TecnologiesRead More
MetaQuotes is coming up with a version of Meta Trader for the Android plataform.
Here are some screenshots