Interactive Brokers offers a range of trading and investment options to its individual and institutional customers. In addition to the wide variety of instrument options, IB supports several trading platforms, each designed to meet the various needs of active traders. All platforms can be accessed using the customer's login credentials provided upon account opening. Internet-based platforms include WebTrader and TWS. IB also offers mobile solutions that support many popular devices.
IB's HTML-based WebTrader is a simplified trading platform idea for customers who generally trade a single product using basic order types, have to go through a firewall to access the Internet, or who prefer a simple interface that provides the basics with a less cluttered trading interface.
Trader Workstation - TWS
The TWS trading platforms allows customers to trade multiple products around the world, all from the same screen. It includes advanced trading tools, supports automated algorithms and sophisticated order types, and includes features such a price/risk, technical and fundamental analytics. TWS can be run directly from an Internet browser window, or it can be downloaded and run from a PC. IB recommends running the browser-based version if a broadband connection is used, since it requires minimal maintenance and ensures the latest version is always used. For dial-up connections, IB recommends the standalone (downloaded) version.
A comparison of IB's WebTrader and TWS can be viewed in the following figure:
Figure 2: Comparison of IB\'s Trader Workstation (TWS) and WebTrader
IB's mobile solutions allow customers to trade from an IB account from most mobile devices including mobileTWS for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad), mobileTWS for BlackBerry and mobileTWS for Android devices. The generic MobileTrader supports most other Smart phones.
API (Application Program Interface) Solutions
Users with programming expertise can connect to the IB system through a custom front end by building a front end application in Excel, C++, Posix C++, Java, and Visual Basic using IB's proprietary IB API. In addition, IB offers an industry-standard FIX solution where customers can support a FIX Computer-to-Computer Interface (CTCI) infrastructure.
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