Network Connection Latency Impact to Forex Trade Copier Speed

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Today we will talk about a very important thing – SPEED. Especially for traders who are copying their trades to other MT4 accounts using Local Trade Copier.

The Local Trade Copier is one of the fastest trade copier’s available. Check the video below to see how fast it is:

It’s not some one-time lucky video with just copy speed. This is constant and works fast like this all the time if your computer/VPS is good and there are no Internet connection issues.

In fact, when Rimantas did this trade copier speed test his laptop was connected to a Wi-Fi. The test on a VPS server with a much better Internet connection would be even better.

However, some traders face speed issues when copying trades between MT4 accounts. Let’s solve this now.

The speed of trade copying depends on three things

The amount of time required to copy a trade depends on 3 things:

  1. The speed of your computer/VPS
  2. Internet connection quality
  3. The broker you are using

All these factors are very important. If one piece is out of order whole system can fail.

Imagine a machine gun firing into a target. There were 100 bullets and 98 of them reached the target in 1ms as an example. But two bullets got “delayed” because they hit an obstacle and reached the target in 1000ms. In summary, 98 bullets reached the target in 1ms and 2 bullets reached the target in 1000ms.

So from those numbers, we can do the calculations:

  • Min latency: 1ms
  • Average latency: 2.98ms
  • Max latency: 1000ms

Looking at the average latency of 2.98ms it seems like everything is fine, and it is, in fact. But still, two bullets arrived later than the rest.

If there was no “max latency” measure we would never know that there were bullets who reached the target later. So when measuring latency (or arrival time in this case) it is important to measure not just the average time but also the minimum and the maximum values.

Speed & Latency table in the Local Trade Copier

The trade copier shows latency report as well as you can see in the image below:

Execution speed. ocal Trade Copier Dashboard

Speed data displayed by Local Trade Copier

Local Trade Copier displays the “Speed & Latency” report in the blue dashboard and it shows 4 values:

  • “Data Exchange” speed. This tells you how fast the trade copier is to read the information from the disk.
    If it takes a lot of time to read the information it means your computer is overloaded or is too slow. This is usually slow if you have hundreds of trades open. To improve the speed of data exchange use computer with SSD disk or run less MT4 terminals.
  • “Trade list check” speed. This tells you how fast the trade copier is to go through the list of all open trades and pending orders on an MT4 account, compare it with the trade list from the master account and apply all changes to the trade list on the client account. This also includes execution time for each transaction.
    If it takes a lot of time to check the trade list it means your Internet connection is poor or your computer is overloaded or too slow. This can naturally be slow if you have hundreds of trades open because MT4 allows EA to check only one trade at a time. To improve the speed of trade list check improve Internet connection, run less MT4 terminals or use a better computer with more RAM memory or more CPU’s.
  • “Trade execution” speed. This tells you how fast trade copier can open, modify or close trades. Each transaction counts. This depends on your Internet connection and broker’s execution speed. If any or few of the transactions will be delayed by your Internet connection or your broker this might take even more time.
    If the execution time is high it means your Internet connection is poor, or your broker is delaying transactions on purpose, or your computer is overloaded or too slow. This can naturally be slow if EA needs to perform hundreds of transactions because MT4 allows EA to do only one transaction at a time.
  • “Full synchronization” speed. This includes all three values. That would be data exchange + trade list check + execution speed.
    If this value is high you should be looking closer into other speed values to identify where the problem is.

As you can see, the trade copier has not much to do with the trade copy speed. It mostly depends on other factors that are out of trade copier’s control. Here’s the video showing how fast my Forex trade copier is.

But in case the Forex trade copier work slowly for you check out this guide on how to improve MT4 speed.

What I am trying to explain is that a reading from LTC copier shows the latency it detected to reach your broker’s server to complete the transaction. It could be that only one transaction took 8 seconds, while the rest were okay.

Huge delay while copying trades is not a normal thing, but sometimes it happens. I would say if the trade is copied in 1 second (1000ms) then it is okay. But if it took 2 seconds or more to copy the trade then something’s not right. But again, it could be that this is only for just one or two transactions out of a hundred.

Let’s analyze account with delayed trades

In the image below we see that this account has lots of unusual delays while opening trades:

Delayed trades in the MT4 account

Delayed trades in the MT4 account

You need to make a lot of trades to have enough data to figure out if there is a general problem or it was a single trade which caused a delay.

The 8-second delay could have happened because of many reasons (here are few of them):

  • It could be that the request traveling to your broker’s servers was delayed in one of the dozens of servers it must pass thru.
  • It could be that the request traveling back to your computer was delayed by your Internet Service Provider.
  • It could be that the request to open a trade was delayed on the broker server because there were no price quotes to fill in your request because of fast moving prices in the markets.
  • It could be that your WiFi connection made that request slower than usual because someone was watching YouTube in your house at the same time.
  • It could be that your computer started some heavy task (like anti-virus scan, downloading or installing updates) at the same time when LTC EA was trying to send a request and Windows OS library handling the connection was slowed down.

How to find out where the problem is exactly

You can do two things to find out where the trades get delayed:

  1. Analyze the copy speed of the last 50 trades (100 would be even better) and check at which step they were delayed. Maybe it was just one unlucky trade which experienced that huge delay while the rest were copied on time. Here’s a good article to teach you how to read MT4 log files and actually understand them 🙂
  2. Check what latency your MT4 shows when you click on the right-bottom corner (those small bars). It should open server list and show latency in “ms”. If it’s more than 100ms then you should get a better connection. Move your MT4 to VPS server which is close to your broker’s server. If you are trading on your home computer then try to connect it with Ethernet cable instead of WiFi.

Here’s the image below from the HotForex MT4 showing multiple Data Centers with different latency times:

HotForex MT4 showing multiple Data Centers with different latency times

HotForex MT4 showing multiple Data Centers with different latency times

As you can see my MT4 is connected to the Data Center server in Amsterdam because I am located in Europe and this is the fastest server for me. In the meantime, the servers in Asia have a latency of 500ms and more. I could use those servers but it would make no sense.

If you are located in Asia then you will be connected to one of those servers and your latency will be 40ms or even better.

You can also try to control the speed of trade copy using the SyncRate parameter in the LTC EA. By default, it is set to 400ms and seems to be the most optimal for all computers. But don’t go lower than 100 ms, because most computers are not that fast anyway. In most cases it takes 100 ms or more to sync the information between MT4 terminals for the LTC and if you set sync rate to 10 ms or so it does not help much.

If you get SyncRate of 50 ms working faster than SyncRate of 100 ms it means your computer is much faster than most others.

I hope the information in this post will help you to avoid delayed trades and losing trades because of execution problems.

Happy trading!

About Vaidotas Segenis

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