Trading software has evolved to provide traders with a better interface with the markets. Many companies are leveraging high-end technologies like blockchain, AI, machine learning, and others to improve the trading environment for the trader. There are different high-performance desktop and web-based trading platforms available in the market. While a lot of traders rely on desktop platforms as they find them reliable, efficient, and secure, the new generation of traders is increasingly using web-based trading platforms.
If your thought process is conflicted on whether you should stick with the desktop trading platform or opt for the web-based platform, you have reached the right place.
Here, we have compared web-based vs desktop platforms for trading considering some of the most essential factors. By reading this comparison, you can easily choose the best from the web or desktop-based trading platforms.
So, let’s start:
Comparison Between Desktop and Web-Based Trading Platforms
Here are some important metrics which would help you to understand whether a web-based or desktop trading platform is perfect for your requirement.
The speed of the platform is an important metric that could affect your trading, especially if you are a day trader or a scalper. The speed at which chart data is displayed on your screen gives you those extra seconds to make your decision. Therefore, when you use a desktop trading platform, then you have to take into account the processing speed of the computer, the speed of your Internet connection, and the routing speed.
However, if you are using a web-based trading platform, then you only have to think about the Internet speed and the routing speed. Therefore, if the processing speed of your computer is not great, then it would negatively impact the performance of the trading platform.
Flexibility and Mobility
This is one of the areas where the web-based trading platform is a clear winner. The reason is, if you are away from your desktop and you find a good opportunity for shorting, you can’t trade. On the other hand, if you are trading on a web-based trading platform, then you can access it from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. This flexibility and mobility for trading are provided by the web-based platform only.
If you are using the desktop trading platform, then you have to ensure the security of your system yourself by using a good antivirus. On the other hand, when you are accessing a web-based trading platform to trade, then the security is provided by the company that is hosting the platform. A large company has the resources to engage top-notch security experts to ensure a foolproof security system for the trading platform. Therefore, it is prudent to rely on the expertise of a larger institution (a web-based trading platform) compared to your antivirus software.
A web-based trading platform is compatible with multiple platforms which ensures a faster and cheaper development option compared to a desktop trading platform. For this reason, you will find that the accessibility charge of a web-based platform is comparatively cheaper than a desktop-based trading platform.
As you trade more, you have to ensure larger storage space to cope with increased data workload. If you are using a desktop-based trading platform, then you have to upgrade your machine yourself. On the other hand, if you are trading on a web-based trading platform, then the server would take care of the additional storage problem.
Server Error and Desktop Error
Both web-based and desktop-based trading platforms can run into server errors when you are trading online. However, if you are using a desktop-based trading platform, then you may get an additional risk of your computer crashing in the middle of a trade. This additional risk factor makes the web-based trading platform much more secure to conduct online trading. Furthermore, if you are using a desktop-based trading platform, then a large amount of memory the software hogs will slow down your computer.
However, this problem is non-existent in a web-based platform as it does not take up any space on your computer which can impact the processing speed leading to a low speed of chart loading. Furthermore, updating a web-based platform is quite easy compared to a desktop-based trading platform, wherein you have to download a big size file and then install it.
Whats Makes These Platforms Better – Recap?
The reasons that make web-based trading platforms better:
- No need to download and install software on your computer.
- It does not hog the memory of your computer.
- You can access your trading platform from any other machine, which gives you flexibility and mobility.
- Even if your computer is down due to technical glitches, you can access the platform from another machine easily.
- You can easily trade on your iPad or your smartphone.
- The SSL security provided by the web-based platform is quite good.
The reasons that make desktop-based trading platform better:
- Trading on the go is not necessarily a great thing, because sometimes you may take a decision on impulse which can financially hurt your trading strategy.
- If your web-based provider’s security features are inadequate, then there is nothing you can do to secure your financial data.
- As the web-based provider is a cloud-based system, and for some reason, it shuts down, then your data would be inaccessible to you. This is not the case in a desktop trading platform as the data is stored in the hard drive of your computer.
- In case your web-based trading platform provider offers you an inefficient platform, then your trading execution is severely hampered.
Both of these platforms have their advantages and limitations. Therefore, if you are planning to set up a brokerage from scratch, then carefully go through the points shared here. You can also ask the help of a consultant who has experience in trading platforms to guide you in selecting the right platform that fulfills all your requirements.