Traveling and Trading – Internet Access Abroad
One of the things we take for granted as traders is the connection through which our trades are sent and received. The speed and connection quality of the internet are both actually more important than any piece of hardware you own.
Without a solid internet connection, you essentially have overweight and overpriced solitaire game console. (Yes, Solitaire still comes loaded on Windows machines).
But how fast of an internet connection do we need? What are the different options? How can we test all of this and be ready before we land at our dream destination?
Traveling and Trading – Internet Access Options
There are three main ways to get access to the internet, and each of them has its advantages and disadvantages depending on where you are and how you plan to trade.
Let’s explore each.
This is a wireless internet connection, the type that you use to surf at home on the couch while you watch sports. This is also the connection type you use when you travel to your favorite coffee shop, at airports, hotels, and many other locations.
PROS: Available at most public locations, restaurants, and hotels worldwide.
CONS: While it has gotten faster over the years, it is not as fast as option #3, and sometimes even slower than option #2. Also, in most “hot spots” (wifi zones) your data is vulnerable to being stolen, including passwords.
A more secure and faster alternative is using the old school cords (blue or yellow) to plug into a router.
PROS: Much faster, more secure connection.
CONS: You need to be close enough to the device to plug into. Most locations do not make it accessible to the public and only offer the WiFi connection point to it.
This connection type is accomplished by purchasing a SIM card from a local cellular phone provider in the country you are planning to visit, and inserting it directly into your phone. After inserting this card, you will then use your mobile phone as the router and you will enable a WiFi hot spot, similar to option #1 above.
PROS: Get the internet virtually anywhere that you can also place calls, and it sits inside of your phone. Very portable, mobile, and often cost-efficient (depending on the country).
CONS: The internet service reliability can vary depending on how remote of an area you are staying in, and sometimes prices are outrageously expensive.
So with all of these options, how do you make a choice on which one to use?
It’s simple really – you use all of them if you can.
If you are traveling, definitely pack an internet cable in case you have the luxury of connecting directly to the router – this will give you the best speed, reliability, and security.
If this is not an option, and it won’t be in most cases, you will want to purchase a mobile operator SIM card pre-loaded with data.
Most places you stay at will have WiFi, but in the event, the speeds are not good or the connection is not stable you can flip to using your mobile phone as a router.
So there you have it, when it comes time to choose, there really is no best option, but at least now you know the difference so you can choose the best of what is offered.
Traveling and Trading – Research Internet Situation BEFORE Leaving!
The same rule applies to traveling as it does to trading, make sure you have a plan and be prepared before you embark on the journey.
Before you pack your bags and decide to be a jet-setter trade superstar, do some research.
You will definitely want to know which areas in the world have good internet connections and where it may be problematic. There is an entire culture of digital nomads that are world travelers while running their online business from their laptop. I have run into quite a few on this trip to Bali, and it has only been just over a week.
One of the best websites for this type of research ahead of time is NomadList.com. Click here to visit it.
- Go to HomePage
- Select “Sort By” category of “Internet Speed”
- Select the “fastest”
- Select any other preferences
- Hit search – and watch all of the paradise destinations that fit your criteria show up! Magic!
NomadList really will give you a feel of what you are heading into before you go, so you can prepare yourself and walk into the situation ready to trade, not running around local shops looking for dongles and LAN cables.
I am in Bali currently, staying at an amazing villa – and I can vouch for the internet connection and stability in most of Bali. It is fast, secure, and easily accessible across the entire island.
Traveling and Trading – Testing the Internet Speed
Once you’ve done all the research, packed your bags, and arrived at your dream destination, you are ready to trade and live the dream.
But how do you know how fast the internet is, and which of the three types of connections to use?
Use the one that is the fastest!
Here are some basic requirements for internet speed:
- If you are using a lot of charts and streaming news services – you want at least 2.0 Mbps (megabytes per second)
- If you are using a few charts, no news, and no electronic chats – you can get away with 1.0 Mbps
- If you are getting less than 1.0 Mbps, I would suggest finding another solution or method
The last thing you want to do is be in a trade and the internet connection cuts out, leaving your trade unprotected in a market full of turbulence. That’s why you use a stop loss of course! You do use one right?
SpeedTest.net is a great website that will allow you to test the internet connection speed. Click here to check it out.
- Go to the website above
- Click the “RUN” button and let the test finish
- It will display how fast your DOWN speed is and UP speed
- Down is far more important, but both should meet the requirements above
Here is my result at the current villa I’m staying at in Bali:
It is 01:00 PM here, which means it is 01:00 AM back home in the EST time zone. By the time the US markets open at 9:30 AM, it will be 9:30 PM here and the download speed will be up to over 10.00 Mbps and upload around 7.00 Mbps. This is more than sufficient to run my high powered trading platform, webinar software, screen share tools, and more.
Traveling and Trading – Internet Access Abroad Conclusion
When it comes time to traveling and trading, it is definitely more possible and even plausible in 2017 than it has ever been. Internet speeds continue to increase even in the most remote areas, and more importantly, the coverage areas are also expanding.
With a little bit of preparation, you can live the dream life and trade while you travel. You can make more money than you spend and spend the entire day at the beach, in restaurants and bars and come home in the evening and start “working” for a few hours to make the money back in the markets.
I am very happy to have finally taken the decision to hit the road, and I get the feeling this trip won’t be my last to Bali, but may just be the beginning of my journey.
Good luck, good trading and get those bags packed!
In my next post, I will show you some pictures of my favorite mobile offices :).