In trading latency is important, regardless if you’re trading from your home computer of from a forex vps. Have you ever wondered how you can find out the network latency between your trading platform and your broker’s servers? Well, if you have I have the answer! All you have to do is do a quick ping test (ping command sends ICMP packets to the server and times how long it takes the server to respond), but before you can ping the server you have to know it’s IP address. But most of the times you will not know the actual IP address of your broker’s server(s). Some brokers will tell you some will not, and some will make it easy to find out and some will not. So you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands and find out the IP for yourself.
I’ll show you in this brief tutorial how you can do so.
The first thing I suggest you do is ensure that you have no other web browsing or any other internet network connections running. I’d suggest either restarting your machine and close every program that uses the internet connection, or you can just close every internet related program. Once you’ve done that run your broker’s MT4 / MT5 platform, but make sure you start ONLY that. This will ensure that later on when we search for the IP we will have more accurate results.
OK, so step:
1) Ensure that you are connected successfully to your broker’s server
2) Open up a windows “command prompt”
Click on the Start Menu and go to All Programs –> Accessories –> Command Prompt
You can also (in windows 7 and windows vista) just type in “cmd” in the search box visible once you click on the start menu.
If you’re running windows xp you can just click on the start menu, go to run, and in the run box type “cmd” and hit enter or press ok.
3) In the command prompt type the following command: “netstat -n” (make sure you leave a space after netstat and before “-n”)
4) Now you should get a listing of all the network connections currently open on your computer.The IP address of your MT4 platform should be listed underneath the “foreign address” heading. MetaTrader uses port 443 for communication so next to the IP you will see “:443”. The IP address with the “443” port listed there is the IP address of your broker’s MetaTrader server. See the example below:
Now I should qualify my previous statement about the use of port 443. Sometimes brokers WILL use other ports (for example 80, 923, 1950, etc).
Now you see why I suggested that you open only MT4 and nothing else internet related 🙂 It makes it that much more simple.
5) Now if you did not follow my advice and opened ONLY the MT4 platform and no other applications that make use of the internet connection, then there is an additional step you have to follow.
Close the MT4 platform and go back to the command prompt window and type the “netstat -n” command one more mime. Compare the result with the previous step’s result and note the IPs that are MISSING. The missing IP in this case is the one that belongs to your broker’s server. See this example:
Beware that sometimes two different brokers can have the same IP address. This most likely is due to one of the broker being what’s known as a “whitelabel” of the other one (or vice versa). This means they do not actually have their own server(s). You can think of the whitelabel broker as a sort of forex broker equivalent of a “reseller.”
I must thank the people at the ECN FX Robot website for the inspiration for the article and the images.
If you have some questions or need further clarifications on the process outlined above feel free to leave a comment on this post.
Until next time,