Can’t access TradeStation? This might be why …
Travelling and trading can be a hit-and-miss affair. Over the years it’s definitely gotten easier with WiFi connections more abundant and reliable. However, you’re always taking a risk with any new location. That’s one of the reasons we usually stick with what we know.
Not being able to access TradeStation because of a firewall has only ever been an issue once before. And frankly it’s something that TradeStation should fix at their end. Anyway …
Stuck behind a firewall?
When you try and log in you’ll be told you are not connected to the Internet. Then TradeStation will just cycle through continually trying to get a connection but fail.
You can use the Terminal application to check by typing “telnet 188.8.131.52”. This is asking to make a telnet connection to one of the TradeStation data server IP addresses. If “Unable to connect to remote host” comes back then you’re behind a firewall.
To bypass the firewall here are the specific instructions you need the network administrator to action. It looks complicated but to a network guy it should be straightforward.
Incoming and outgoing TCP/IP connections through port 11000, 11001 and 11020.
Incoming and outgoing TCP/IP connections to the following address range:
184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11
63.99.254. 0 to 18.104.22.168
22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199
188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206
220.127.116.11 to 18.104.22.168
22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199
188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206
220.127.116.11 to 18.104.22.168
22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199
188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206
220.127.116.11 to 18.104.22.168
22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199
Luckily the serviced apartment resort where we’re staying were extremely helpful and I got access to TradeStation within 48 hours. If not, we probably would have needed to move!
Alternatively use a VPS
Several Emini-Watch subscribers use this option – and it’s very ingenious.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Effectively this is a virtual computer, connected directly to the Internet backbone and hosted by an ISP. You access this virtual computer through any computer with an Internet connection (what we used to call a “dumb” terminal).
The beauty of this approach is that your virtual computer has a very fast connection to the Internet and trading data – plus it can be very highly spec’d and only running your trading platform. Hence getting maximum performance. Then your terminal computer just needs a minimum Internet connection to “see” and control the virtual machine.
Richard D. has kindly provided these instructions for setting up a VPS to run TradeStation:
- Sign up for a really good VPS (no cheaper, shared-resource compromises). This will probably cost about $220 per month. (I currently use Win2008-R2 on CNS.) The cut-price services are not worth the trouble. Also, consider a node closer to the CME.
- Use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (or other Mac OS X app) to remote-login to your VPS session.
- Run updates and install one of the secure file-sharing programs (e.g. Cubby) to transfer your TradeStation setup files to the VPS. (And don’t forget to periodically transfer your backups to offsite storage.)
- Setup TradeStation (with one Desktop) on the VPS. You will need to authorise the new machine with TradeStation. Almost all the Internet connectivity burden now falls on the remote VPS. Plus it’s always on and maintained by elves. With backup power, robust Internet, virus protection, etc.
- If happy with the new setup then purchase a second login, with data, from TradeStation. This is not essential, but TradeStation will only allow one active login at a time, even for the exact same account ID. TradeStation fees are negotiable.
- Login via Remote Desktop Connection and trade from anywhere with an average Internet connection, even via WiFi. Voila!
If concerned about data/cacheing errors then you can compare charts on the local and remote platforms. Or use one for Sim, and the other for Live, Strategy testing, etc.
There are some disadvantages of course, but it is a great Plan-B option for those times when your bandwidth is too puny/scrawny to feel the force. Or if local Firewall restrictions are causing problems. And the price is not too steep, relative to a few more days of trading.
Many thanks Richard D. for the VPS details.