How do I run my EAs? What VPS do I use? How many instances of MT4?
In this post, I share my personal solution to these questions.
- How do I run EAs/Expert Advisors/trading robots?
- What kind of VPS or Virtual Private Server do I use?
- How many instances of MT4 can I load in my VPS?
How do I run my EAs/Expert Advisors?
I run my expert advisors in a VPS. A Virtual Private Server is a remote computer that is turned on 24-hours a day 7-days a week. It is available as a service for a subscription fee. Depending on level of sophistication, subscription fee can range from USD25 a month to USD100+ a month.
Some traders tell me that they run their trading robots from personal computers at home, left on 24-hours a day. In the past I tried a ‘low cost VPS‘ by using a cheap tablet (with pretty amazing specifications). My internet connection at home is left on 24-hours a day so it made sense at that time. I don’t do that any more.
It doesn’t make sense to do-it-yourself.
When I run EAs, I want my trading robots to catch trading setups that I like as and when they appear. I don’t want to miss these trades so uptime is important. Ease of mind is the other important factor. Some of my EAs are designed with risk management features so if there are open trades but for whatever reason, the EAs that are managing them get turned off – I don’t even want to think about what happens. Therefore a 100% reliable 24/7 presence is critical.
It does not make sense to leave a personal computer on 24/7 in our tropical heat that is coming to 36 degree Celsius on some days. It does not make sense to leave air-conditioning on 8 hours to 12 hours a day to take care of the PC when the utility bill is going up all the time.
A subscription-based VPS service is a straightforward solution. With VPS service specially packaged for traders, there is a pretty good fit between what I want, what I need and what they offer. I don’t have to deal with software updates and I want to find out what sort of trouble my children’s itchy fingers are capable of.
What kind of VPS or Virtual Private Server do I use?
My VPS service is a basic package available for USD35 a month. The provider targets forex trading so they know the business. Basic package comes with:
- 1GB VPS RAM
- 30GB VPS disk space
- Windows Server 2012 OS
- Auto backups
- 24/7 technical support
- Compatibility with multiple trading platforms
This service is sufficient for me. In my opinion, must-have features are 24/7 support, 100% uptime and higher ram. I don’t use the VPS for anything else so 30GB disk space is really nice-to-have.
To access, I use Teamviewer. In this screencapture below, you can clearly see that I use a Macbook (6 year old Macbook Air). The VPS has a Windows OS. The whole panel is accessible via Teamviewer which you can spot two icons at bottom right.
How many instances of MT4 can I load in my VPS?
I am not IT-savvy enough to explain this in a technical manner. I can only share that at one point I was operating 3 installations of MT4 from different folders. I am doing 2 right now. I do this because 1) I have multiple accounts and 2) when you operate too many different pairs (too many open tabs) in the same MT4, it becomes unresponsive especially during high volatility periods. By having different installations and spreading the pairs I trade evenly, I have less encounters with unresponsiveness.
Those of you keen to try out a VPS service can look up these links. This is the VPS service I use and at this moment, there is a March 2018 promotion with 25% discount off list price.
There is an even better deal. My colleague Binni Ong at OnlineForexMaster.com has made an arrangement for a sponsored VPS subject to terms and conditions (3 simple steps). It uses the same provider ForexVPS.net.