Beginner’s Guide to Online Forex Trading – Chapter 7: Forex trading Necessities

Beginner’s Guide to Online Forex Trading – Chapter 7: Forex trading Necessities

Every trader will require a very good and fast computer for trading purposes. This chapter includes the basic components required for a proper day trading system including hardware, internet connection, software and system protection.

Day trading Hardware

The minimum specifications for a day trader are as follows. The brackets include the preferred specifications

· Windows XP Operating system
· Pentium D 2.6 GHz (Intel Core 2 Duo/ AMD X2)
· One 19-inch LCD monitor (two LCD flat screens)
· 512 MB RAM (1 GB or higher of low-latency RAM)

It is to be noted that in case of multiple monitors, the video card must contain two output ports in VGA and DVI formats in general. If the video has only one output port, video cards with nVidia or ATI chipsets are required to connect two monitors.


Special software will be used by most of the professional traders. This is to be installed in the computer. Good software is one which is widely used and popular, through which the trader can easily evaluate currencies, stocks, futures, etc and also place orders for buy/sell positions. The software should have the capacity for:

· Up-to-the minute news
· Level II (a catalog of extensive information on who’s willing to buy and sell certain stock)
· Real-time streaming information like quotes as well as charts (continuously updated with live data).
· Time and Sales (record of all the transactions)
· Portfolio tracker to track your entire portfolio


Although, you may well purchase the best computer with the latest hardware parts, real-time streaming data like quotes,charts, and transaction details, none of this can be accessed without a fast, reliable internet connection. The connection should be:

· Cable Modem Service from the local cable operator.
· Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) from the local landline phone company.
· T1 line employed by traders and scalpers for high speed and reliability requirements (much more expensive although less likely to lose connection)

System protection

You need to protect your computer and its software from intruders and viruses. System protection can be acquired through

· Antivirus programs

The best paid ones are both McAfee Virus Scan and Norton Antivirus. There are also free options available like AVG and Avast which also offer good protection. Most computers when bought have preinstalled antivirus and all computers need it.

· Firewall

A firewall helps to protect your computer and its software against hackers. It is available online for free.

· Back-up system

You should always back-up your system and all the files onto your PC, either onto a disk or a hard drive. Uninterruptible Power Supply is highly recommend for power surges and failures or you can use a 56-Kbps Modem if your DSL or Cable services are interrupted. There are very few cases where Cable Modem service or DSL suddenly stops working while trading. In such cases, the 56-kbps modem can be employed using a phone line. Though large amounts of information cannot be fed in 56-Kbps as compared to Cable or DSL, placing trades and viewing of basic trading data can be done. You can speak to your internet service provider for more information on the best option for you.

Community trading forums are a good place to discuss and ask questions of other traders on any aspect of trading including Hardware and software requirements.