The Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
Perfect For Beginners and Middle-Leveled Traders!
Free Demo Account!
Free Trading Education!
Get Your Sign-Up Bonus Now!
Good Broker For Experienced Traders!
How to Solve the 360 S6 Robot Vacuum Connection Issue
Some users have troubles in connecting the 360 S6 to the 360Smart app, so I decided to collect all the solutions our readers have found in the comments in our 360 S6 review.
As far as we know, there are a few different modifications of the 360 S6 robot vacuum on the market:
- an international version. This version has an English manual in the box and speaks English.
- a Chinese version: has a Chinese manual and Chinese voice.
- some other local versions of the robot.
Some of the latest Chinese modifications are location locked. They were designed for the local China market, but for some reasons there are sellers on Aliexpress (and maybe other stores) sell it worldwide. Those devices can’t be connected to the app outside of Сhina. However, there is a solution posted by Paul with a GPS Spoofing and proxy.
How to know if your device is locked? When connecting the device, you will get an error, something like this: “The product can be used in China only”.
If your device is not locked or you have an international version
Before connecting the robot make sure that:
- Your Wi-Fi router works on the 2.4Ghz frequency band (not 5 GHz)
- Your Wi-Fi password must contain only Latin letters and numbers (if not — change it).
- Check if your Wi-Fi router uses WPA or WPA2 encryption (but not WEP or without encryption). You should log in to your router settings page (192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1) and change the encryption mode to WPA or WPA2.
- Go to the phone settings and check if the location permission for the 360Smart app is enabled.
- Turn off mobile data before connecting the robot.
- Move the robot and your phone closer to your Wi-Fi router.
- Reset the robot Wi-Fi settings by pressing and holding the “Power” and “Home” buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
- Try to connect the robot. Sometimes app may ask you for manual connection, in this case, you should follow the instructions on the screen. If you followed all those steps, but your robot still won’t connect:
- Try to reboot the robot (power off/on)
- Try to reinstall the app
- Install the latest beta version of the app.
If you have a locked Chinse version of the 360 S6
Paul posted this solution, and other users verified it:
- Follow all the steps described above for an international release.
- Uninstall the 360Smart app. Install the 188.8.131.52 version of the app Joshua Speer confirmed in the comments below that this method works with the latest version of the app.
- Install the Hola GPS Spoofer
- Install the Hola Free VPN Proxy
- Change the language of your phone to English
- Change the timezone of your phone to Shangai UPDATE: This step can be skipped.
- Run the Hola Free VPN Proxy and GPS Spoofer and set the location to Shangai and Proxy to China
- Run the 360Smart app from the Hola Proxy, and cross your fingers.
Follow the normal binding steps. If you have more than one Wi-Fi hotspot in your house, forget the others in your phone settings. Mobile data should be turned off.
When the binding of the device finished, you can use the app without the proxy and GPS Spoofer.
Please post your questions and solutions in the comments below.
Comments ( )
Success. Aliexpress «Mainland China Only» version was finally able to bind and works perfectly. I tried using 360Smart Android App v184.108.40.206 as recommended above, but the old Android phone I was using had a low resolution screen which cut off the bottom of the app, so we could not select the «Purple Lights Flash» button. So we downloaded the latest 220.127.116.11 version of the Android App from Play Store, which did fit on the screen correctly. We started it from Hola VPN, selected GPS in China, set the robot in binding mode, pressed «Purple Lights Flash» button on the app, and it linked.
I was then able to log in with my iPhone 7 using the latest version of the App (3.5 I think on the iPhone) and it works!
Biggest issue I had was the robot is VERY finicky in broadcasting its WiFi for setup. I kept getting an error message to check my wifi. I had to turn the robot off and on several times, putting into link mode each time, in order to finally get it to broadcast its WiFi for linking. Once I got that working (you can check using your phone’s wifi setting to see if the robot is sending out an SSID), it was a very simple process to bind it.
So another confirmation that Ali Express versions with «Mainland China Only» issue can be linked just fine. We still have to live with the Chinese voice for the robot, but that is acceptable.
The Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
Perfect For Beginners and Middle-Leveled Traders!
Free Demo Account!
Free Trading Education!
Get Your Sign-Up Bonus Now!
Good Broker For Experienced Traders!
Thanks for the help.
You may have just figured out the issues we have been having with connecting to the wifi for the Chinese version! Yes, Europe and Japan (and I assume China) use channels 1-13 for wifi, whereas in the US we only use 1-11. So my guess is that the robot comes up with various channels when it boots, and if it chooses 12 or 13, that creates the issue for us trying to connect. That would explain why I had to reboot the robot numerous times before it finally came up with a channel that was in the US range. This is just conjecture, but seems to make sense. Since 12 and 13 are unused in the US, and wifi hot spots will tend to try to use a channel that is open, that might explain why so often it is going with those channels. But if you keep rebooting, it will eventually use a channel you can see. See if several reboots eventually will work to get a 1-11 channel.
for me not working Hola Free VPN Proxy China server, so can’t use that app. Tried with Hong Kong server, got China Mainland error. Also tried private China proxy, but the problem with this is that when Smart 360 app connecting to robot WiFi network the phone is disconnecting from my home WiFi network and also the phone is turning off VPN switch (the key icon), so when the Smart 360 app reconnecting to my home network back my IP address is not anymore under China proxy. So I think I need the phone app which can proxyfie only the Smart 360 app (like the Hola VPN app doing) not the whole phone, so the proxy is not tied to WiFi network, but just the chosen app, so when Smart 360 app switching between the WiFi networks the proxy is not turning off/disabling. Also tried other free VPN apps and they also disconnecting when WiFi network is switched. Premium paid VPN didn’t tried, because I don’t want to pay if I don’t know if theirs mobile apps will succeed to bind the Smart 360 app to robot.
Also wrote the complain to the Smart 360 app support and got response from them that I need to contact their official after-sales by phone +86 400 6822360, but I don’t think that they can provide me the international version of firmware.
Only two ways for now I see, is to return back the robot to Aliexpress seller (he agree to accept the return for full refund plus shipping fee) and buy new one with International version firmware. Or to wait for maybe that manufacturer will make the fix for Chinese versions to unlock region locks, provide international firmware or that maybe someone will make modified 360 Smart app where will be disabled the region check like it was done with app for Roborock s5 in one Russian forum.
When you say Hola VPN China server is not working for you, is the Hola app working, but just not that one server? In that case, it might just have been down for a bit. It was down when I first played with the app, but was up about 6 hours later when I did the binding. So maybe try again later??
I have the chinise version of Roborock S5. I’m trying to solve region lock problem. Could you please give more information about disabled region check?
I am adding a new post so that the issue is not lost in the above thread. D did some good detective work and found out that his Chinese version of the robot was using Channel 13 for WiFi. Since the US only uses channels 1-11, this might explain why some are having issues connecting. I believe each time you start a new linking sessions (purple light flashing) it will choose an an open WiFi channel to use for broadcasting itself. Since 12 and 13 are not used in the US, it probably sees those as open and uses one of those most of the time. But eventually, if you try rebooting and start a new linking session, it will use a channel in 1-11 and that will allow you to bind.
Just conjecture, but might be worth more looking in to.
Hi, is rebooting simply making sure the robot is not in the charger and press the power button? Then power up (blinking blue), press both buttons to purple? I’ve restarted about 10 times and it’s still on channel 13.
An alternative, I have a borrowed iphone and I can see channel 13. However, I now need a good VPN proxy and GPS Spoofer for ios. Any suggestions? Otherwise, I’ll keep rebooting the robot for my android
Hi everyone. After half a day of frustration of not being able to connect my 360 to my app I found a solution in a German robo forum.
There is a beta version of the app (18.104.22.168_beta), which is not available in Google Play, but offered by 360 directly. It solved the issue for me as well as other users in the German forum.
Not sure when this will be implemented in a new official release, but that did it for me.
You have chinese version or robot or International one?
I tried with this apk too (without vpn), but still receiving «mainland China» message.
Man you are the King
Transocks VPN for Android also worked, finally have my robot connected
I have black chinese version of s6 360 robot, and as D suggested, used transocks (from play store) VPN and just hit connect, and after 10 second I got my robot binded — connected to app. Updated firmware of robot and app to 22.214.171.124 and everything works perfectly.
Michael, i cant confirm it, as I had it installed on my phone, but I am not sure did I used it in time of «connecting» robot and app, or I didnt. I just cant remember.
But with transocks got my robot connected in 10 seconds and everything works perfectly.
I might be onto something — not sure if it was a fluke, but it worked — so after spending the past 2 weeks in the forum I owe you that much to share it and hope it will help others.
Yup, 2 weeks… Tried over and over and over, tweaking some attempts and changing some steps in the guide here and there, but after an hour I would give up, bad mouth the annoying chinese girl in the voice prompts and try again the following day. Today it suddenly gave me successful binding message on the screen when I least expected it, and you’ll understand why in a sec, and I will try to point out all the tech info for the record:
App: Eventually what worked for me was the 126.96.36.199 version apk from the link above, but I did try 188.8.131.52 to begin with. I saw some users had an issue signing up with SMS. I personally haven’t (and it’s an EU mobile number, not US and definitely not Chinese), but just so you know it is possible to sign up with an email on the app version 184.108.40.206 — I did that although the SMS sign up went well just in case the system will somehow realize I’m not in China if only by the mobile number.
Either way, I want to emphasize that if it did in fact work for someone with version 220.127.116.11 it might have to do with the OS — I could not pass the 13% with that version no matter what I tried changing. It is evident that this version recognizes the location even behind a double VPN, let alone one, regardless of an IP and GPS location in China, your system’s clock or language — so I would suggest not to waste your time on trying with the updated version, but then again maybe it was just me. I installed 18.104.22.168, and when it finished clicked «done» and not «open» — then went first thing to Google Play to disable auto updates (because they managed in few cases to be faster than me and auto-update before I went through the entire process).
System: Android Oreo 8.0.0 (yeah, not even 8.1. Apparently LG has more burning stuff to do. But, don’t be alarmed if you’re not on Pie, that’s not it). Needed or not, I set the time manually to China Standard (GMT+7) to be on the safe side, and the language is anyway set to English.
Location: Changed the setting from High Accuracy to GPS only. Again, dunno if it’s vital since you are going through a VPN, but what have you got to lose from limiting the system to have only one option to determine your location.
Internet connection: Now, I know my ISP router is not the smartest piece of technology around, so in attempt to get the best possible signal even through a VPN (that one was very touch n go. At times I could not even log in to the app and received an error that the network has bad connection, which a speed test confirmed) I disabled temporarily the 5 network and left only the 2.4; Also, since I normally use custom DNS I’ve disabled that (if you don’t know what it is, you’re not using it so don’t worry). On the phone I’ve turned off the mobile data, reset network settings (it’s in the network menu), and reconnected to the wifi, which was now broadcasting only on the 2.4 network anyway.
VPN: well, Hola. Never been a huge fan, but then again you can’t complain about a free service. The thing is, their work model to give it to you free is making you a peer so Hola is using some of your bandwidth for other users who want to connect to a server near you. Like I didn’t have enough to deal with here, I need to rely on other Hola users and hope I get lucky. Of course, I didn’t. Countless attempts all failed and in cases I did manage to log in to the 360 app, it either got me to 15-20% and gave an error or the more enjoyable error at 99%… I tried several other (paid) major VPN providers, both on the phone level and on the router level, but it seems that indeed the way is with Hola since that is directly on the app level. The solution: forget Hola Free and sign up for the 3 day trial of Hola Plus. You won’t be charged as long as you remember to cancel the subscription during the trial period and you can guarantee having a connection way more reliable than the free peer-to-peer one.
With everything set, I reset the robot (pin through the tiny hole behind the rubber piece covering the usb port, when the dust bin is ejected) and restarted it; placed myself in the Hola GPS app on some unnamed road in the middle of Beijing; and opened the 360 app via the Hola Plus. Signed in, and started the binding process for probably the 360th time.
Now… I’m not totally sure what happened next and how this would have ended if the following didn’t occur, so my best advice would be to follow it through with the binding as usual and if it still doesn’t work try recreating this scenario:
Binding ongoing and when reaching the 15% mark the annoying girl’s voice appears and talking to me in Chinese again which I already know means it failed although the app would keep going to 99% and then give me an error, I eject the dust bin and got the pin in hand ready to reset the robot again when Spike, my cat, decides to shove his head to see what’s going on. No worries, you won’t need a cat for this — but I’m telling this because during the split second that I looked up from the phone screen to make sure I’m not poking him in the eye with the pin, the «binding successful» screen appeared. Sadly, until my astonished brain registered what just happened my hand was quicker and reset the robot. That was the point when I didn’t know whether I should bang my head or the robot against the wall… finally it bound and I reset it?! But lo and behold… the app was searching for the robot, and as soon as the latter rebooted itself it was still there. The first few seconds were lagging, but once I updated the firmware through the app and the robot automatically rebooted again, everything was fine. I then reversed all the changes made in the phone and router, disconnected from the VPN and updated the app itself. I should note that although you can update from within the app, I opted for not playing with fire now that I am no longer pretending to be in the middle of some road in Beijing and updated the app through Google Play. It updated to 22.214.171.124 which is the latest offered through Google and not 126.96.36.199 — but honestly? I couldn’t care less. Everything was working fine, the app is completely in English, and the only thing I can’t get rid of is the annoying Chinese girl (though I did set her volume to minimum). Did a few runs with the robot since, turned phone on and off, rebooted the router even — but the robot is there, bound. Nailed you, mofo.
So to recap: try following all those settings and steps described and then bind (from a fresh start, i.e clean installation of the app, and do try with 188.8.131.52 first, before you update from within the app to 184.108.40.206), but it still won’t work:
— start binding
— at the voice prompt around 15% eject dustbin and reset robot with a pin
— cross fingers and restart robot
You can borrow Spike for good luck, but I should warn you he’s trying to hunt the side brushes.
The trading industry is developing at an exponential rate. Binary options and social trading have been the two most known recent additions to trading possibilities. But there are brokers that try to implement one more trading feature – CrowdTrading. Find everything out in our honest Trade360 Review!
Leverage: 1:200 Licences: CySEC
Min. Deposit: 25 USD Bonus: N/A
Spreads: from 1.8 pips US Clients: No
Trade360 Broker at a Glance
Being developed in 2020, Trade360 broker is owned by the company Trade360 Ltd that is located in Limassol, Cyprus. It has also got an office in the UK, which gains additional trust to this broker. As all brokers located in Cyprus it holds the CySEC license, with unique number 202/13.
As has been mentioned before by the Trade360 review, this FX broker tries to widen your trading possibilities using the CrowdTrading tool. So if you are not a fan of charting and technical analysis, you can try CrowdTrading by Trade360!
Trade360 CrowdTrading Review
Being one of the unique features at Trade360, this type of trading allows traders to base their trading decisions not only on technical analysis and news but on a few additional factors.
CrowdTrading shows how real traders decided to trade specified instrument. It displays percentage of all traders decided to buy and how many to sell. Also, it shows the division of traders in your country as well as best performing traders registered with Trade360.
Additionally, this feature allows you to see forecasts on market reactions for future events. Moreover, if the event has already passed, CrowdTrading shows you if the prediction was correct or not, so you will know whether you should rely on traders or trade on your own. This feature will be useful for both type of traders, those trading with a trend and those who trade on the turnaround points.
Trade360 Trading Accounts
Being focused on CrowdTrading, this broker does not have a wide choice of accounts to offer to you. In fact, during Trade360 review we spot only real account and demo account. The best part of your Trade360 Real Account is that you will be able to register for it using your Facebook or Google+ account. This means no pain with verification emails and additional passwords, just one-click login and you are ready for real Forex trading. Another awesome feature of real account is that minimum deposit is just 25 USD. So you do not need to get a lot of money for your deposit in order to start CrowdTrading with this Forex broker.
The best feature of demo account is that it also allows you to test CrowdTrading possibilities. So, if you are not sure that CrowdTrading will work for you, you can go to demo account and try it there.
Trade360 Reviews of Trading Platforms
Implementation of the new features in the Forex trading often requires add-ons to platforms or development of the custom trading platforms. Trade360 review found out that this broker is offering their own trading platform to traders. The platform is available right in your browser, so there is no reason to download anything to your computer.
Overall, platform feels comfortable and does not require any adjustment. It allows you to see multiple instruments at once in the form of small icons or open full view on the specific instrument. Furthermore, it offers bunch of indicators, that allow you to make technical analysis. The best part of the Trade360 trading platform is that the CrowdTrading field is shown on every screen, so you will always be up-to-date with traders’ forecasts about movements.
Additionally, Trade360 made sure that the crowd trading will also be available on your mobile devices. So, if you want to trade basing on predictions of traders on your mobile device, just download Trade360’s app from Google Play or App Store and you can start!
Trade360 Review of Deposits and Withdrawals
Making deposits with Trade360 is rather easy, especially since there are a lot of funding methods available. In addition to standard for the Forex industry wire transfers and credit card payments, you will be allowed to use eWallet payments via such systems as Skrill, Neteller, Sofort and others.
The withdrawal of your profits at Trade360 can be made via same method as a deposit. So if you have made a deposit via Skrill, your withdrawal will have to be made via this payment system as well. Be aware that all withdrawals that have total amount higher than your deposit will be made via bank transfer only. Such withdrawals usually take from 7 to 10 days.
Trade360 Forex Client Support
It is important for good Forex broker to be always available for contact from its clients. Good customer support can make big difference in the time when something is not working properly.
When you sign-up with Trade360 Forex broker, you will be given an opportunity to contact them via various methods. Firstly, this broker has got live chat that is online 7 days in a week, 24 hours per day.
Additionally, Trade360 review found out that you can reach this broker via e-mail. Support speaks English, Dutch and German.
Trade360 Forex Review Conclusion
It has already been told that the main unique feature of this broker is its CrowdTrading system. It allows traders with low trading experience find support of their trading decisions in the predictions of the professionals. Additionally, this system is perfectly implemented into broker’s trading platform. Another awesome feature of this broker is low deposit amount that is required for start of your trading. For all of its positive sides and innovations, Trade360 review gives this FX broker 3.5 out of 5 stars!
The 8 Best Options Trading Platforms of 2020
From beginner solutions to expert portfolios
We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process.
Options trading is a somewhat high-risk area of the investment world where you can pay for the option to buy or sell a specific security at a set price on a future date. Based on fluctuations in market prices for those securities, the value of options rises and falls until their maturity date.
If you want to trade options, you’ll need an account with a brokerage that supports options. Each platform is unique and has its own pros and cons, so it is best to understand what you want in an options account and platform before you get started. Follow along to learn more about the best options trading platforms and which may be best suited for your options trading needs.
Best Overall: TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade takes the top spot in this ranking thanks to a combination of reasonable pricing, excellent beginner resources, and a top-of-the-line trading platform that works well for experts and professional traders. No matter where you are in your options trading journey, TD Ameritrade has something for everyone.
Trades at TD Ameritrade cost $6.95 per trade plus $0.75 cents per contract. There is no account minimum. The site offers a current promotion where you get 60 days of commission-free equity, ETF, and options trades with a deposit of $3,000 or more. You get additional bonuses with larger opening deposits.
Beginners have a wide range of resources that are great for options and other investing and trading strategies. For expert traders, the Think or Swim platform gives you Wall Street quality at a Main Street price.
Best for No Commission: Robinhood
You can’t get cheaper than free. While some professional traders are not happy with how trades are handled and processed at Robinhood, it is an excellent platform for beginners to get started with less risk. With no trading fee, you can buy and sell options without risking anything more than your initial investment.
Robinhood is a web-first platform and it doesn’t offer much when it comes to education and research tools. But if you read a book on options and want to try your hand as a hobbyist, Robinhood can certainly handle your needs.
Robinhood also offers commission-free stock trades, ETFs, a limited number of cryptocurrencies, and a limited number of ADRs (American Depository Receipts — a type of stock listing in the US for a foreign company). Because it is mobile first, it offers great real-time notifications for investments and trades on the platform.
Best for Experts: TradeStation
TradeStation started as a software company for traders, and even though it has grown over time, it has held true to its initial trading principles. If you want professional data and high-speed trade execution on an expert-level platform, TradeStation is a great choice.
TradeStation charges $5 per trade plus $0.50 cents per contract. However, it also offers unbundled and per-contract pricing. Professional and high-volume traders may do better with the flat rate cost of $1 per contract instead of the base + per contract fee most brokerages charge.
While it doesn’t offer as much for beginner traders and new traders, you could host a family office or business portfolio on TradeStation with no problems. In fact, its tools are so good it sells many of them for a fee to professional investors with accounts at other brokers. With an active account at TradeStation, you get those tools for free. Just beware the minimum $2,000 balance or five trades per year to avoid a $95 annual account fee.
Best for New Traders: Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab delivers an all around great experience with excellent customer service. Once you open a new account, trades are $.95 each plus $0.65 cents per contract. First-time clients get 500 commission-free trades for two years when you deposit $100,000 or more in a new account.
Schwab offers above-average research and education offerings. It also gives you a very good platform for trading on desktop, web, and mobile. Even outside of options, it is one of the best overall brokerages for a wide range of investing and trading needs.
With the large library of educational and research content, you can enter the high-speed options trading world with your eyes wide open to the risks and opportunities. That said, the competitive costs and quality trading platforms make it a worthy consideration for even the most experienced traders. Accounts require a $1,000 minimum to access options trading.
Best for Low Costs and No Minimums: Ally Invest
Ally Invest is another low-cost brokerage best known for its cousin Ally Bank. Like the bank, Ally Invest offers an easy-to-understand and low-fee brokerage lineup. Trades are $4.95 each plus $0.65 cents per contract. There is no account minimum. With a current promotion, you can get up to $3,500 bonus cash depending on the size of your deposit.
You can start with a low investment to learn more about Ally without worrying about big minimum balances or fees. But even some more experienced traders will be happy with the low costs and a wide range of services geared toward option traders.
Highlights include a powerful trading platform and valuable charts, data, and analytics to help you build your options trading strategy. In the world of discount brokerages, you can’t always take the value of a broker from its trading fees. At Ally, that’s certainly the case.
Best Per-Trade Fees: Interactive Brokers
If you are an active trader who prefers making frequent, small trades, Interactive Brokers may be the best fit. There is no pre-trade fee and options commissions are $0.70 cents per contract. High volume traders can qualify for lower pricing down to $0.15 cents per contract with 100,000+ contracts per month. This brokerage also offers pricing that is attractive to active stock and ETF traders. Different pricing applies to non-US options.
This brokerage is not good for passive investors with few trades per year or a large balance. The account requires a hefty $100,000 minimum balance or $10 in commissions per month to avoid an activity fee. The activity fee is the difference between your trading commissions and $10 per month to total a $10 minimum monthly charge. The account charges a higher $20 minimum if you don’t keep at least $2,000 in equities in the account.
If you do have the appetite for at least $10 in trades per month and/or can satisfy that $100,000 minimum, Interactive Brokers has excellent trading platforms. These tools include a natural language bot that will place orders based on your instructions and a professional-grade desktop platform.
Best Tiered Pricing: Lightspeed
Lightspeed is a brokerage with a focus on active and experienced traders. Lightspeed charges $0 per trade and $0.60 cents per contract with a $1 minimum per trade. Tiered pricing starts at 500+ contracts per month. Depending on your volume, discounted rates range from $0.20 cents at 100,000+ contracts per month to $0.50 cents at 500 to 2,000 contracts per month.
Lightspeed offers professional-grade trading platforms. The options platform is known as Livevol X and offers integrated order execution, analysis, customized layouts, historical data analytics, and other useful features. Like competing platforms, you can manage most common account needs right in the desktop, web, or mobile-based platform.
This brokerage is not as beginner friendly as others on our list, so you should look elsewhere if you are brand-new to options trading. But if you are experienced and want expert tools, you can find everything to whet your appetite at Lightspeed. With low pricing for high-volume options traders, you might find it the right home for your options brokerage needs.
Best Options Trading Platforms
The best options brokers have a wealth of tools that help you manage risk
Investopedia is committed to rigorous editorial standards to provide our readers with the best advice and recommendations. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products we reviewed. Learn more about our methodology and review process.
We recognize that we all are living through a particularly volatile time as we deal with this global crisis, and financial markets have also seen unprecedented change, impacting all investors. Our mission has always been to help people make the most informed decisions about how, when and where to invest. Given recent market volatility, and the changes in the online brokerage industry, we are more committed than ever to providing our readers with unbiased and expert reviews of the top investing platforms for investors of all levels, for every kind of market.
Options trading has become extremely popular with retail investors since the turn of the 21st century. Our best options brokers have a wealth of tools that help you measure and manage risk as you determine which trades to place. They also include valuable education that helps you grow in sophistication as an options trader.
Best Online Brokers for Options Trading in April 2020:
- tastyworks: Best Options Trading Platform
- tastyworks: Best Broker for Advanced Options Traders
- tastyworks: Best Broker for Mobile Options Traders
- E*TRADE: Best Broker for Beginning Options Traders
- eOption: Best Broker for Low-Cost Options Trading
Best Options Trading Platform, Best for Advanced Options Trades, and Best for Mobile Options Traders: tastyworks
- AccountMinimum: $0
- Fees: $0.00 stock trades, $1.00 to open options trades $0.00 to close
Tastyworks says that more than 90% of the trades placed by its customers are derivatives, so they naturally spend their time designing a lot of tools specifically for options and futures traders. Everything is designed to help traders evaluate volatility and the probability of profit. Tastyworks’ entire platform is geared towards making decisions and taking action. Tastyworks opened its virtual doors in 2020, so it isn’t saddled with legacy systems that bog down many of the older online brokers. This has helped it tremendously in keeping the options trading experience to the essentials. Tastyworks’ executions are fast and the costs are low, with commissions capped for opening orders for options on equities and futures at $10 per leg.
Watchlists are a key component of the tastyworks platform, and they are the same on mobile, web, and download. The look and feel of the mobile platform is very similar to the desktop versions, though you’ll find price wheels and ways to define trades that minimize the possibility of making a mistake. As you build a position from a chart or from a volatility screener, a trade ticket is built for you. There’s also a video viewer embedded so you can keep an eye on the tastytrade network. Though a newcomer to options trading might be initially uncomfortable, those who understand the basic concepts will appreciate the content, features, and focus apparent throughout tastyworks’ platforms.
All of the tools you’ll need for analyzing and trading derivatives are built into the platforms.
The charting capabilities are uniquely tuned for the options trader. If you have multiple positions on a particular underlying, you can analyze the risk profiles of the combined position.
There are hours of original video from tastytrade every weekday, offering up-to-the-minute trading ideas, plus a huge library of pre-recorded videos and shows.
Newcomers to trading and investing may be overwhelmed by tastyworks at first.
There is no fixed income trading (outside of ETFs that contain bonds) for those who want to allocate some of their assets to a more conservative asset class.
Any additional portfolio analysis beyond profit and loss requires setting up a login on a separate site, The Quiet Foundation, which is also part of the tastytrade empire.
Best for Beginning Options Traders: E*TRADE
- AccountMinimum: $0
- Fees: No commission for stock/ETF trades. Options are $0.50-$0.65 per contract, depending on trading volume.
New options traders need some help in understanding how trading derivatives can help improve portfolio returns. E*TRADE’s more advanced platforms are elegantly designed and guide you along the way. When you graduate to options and derivatives, the Power E*TRADE website and mobile app can help you learn. The Power E*TRADE site and app can be set up to put the functions you use most often front and center so you don’t have to dig around for them. The platform has all the features inherited from E*TRADE’s acquisition of OptionsHouse technology, which includes a wealth of helpful educational resources for the developing options trader. Watchlists are integrated across E*TRADE’s platforms, and the full range of tradable assets is accessible on the mobile apps. The workflow is very smooth on the mobile apps. We also found that using Power E*TRADE on a tablet is quite pleasant.
Mobile apps are extremely well laid-out and easy to use and are among the most comprehensive and extensive apps tested.
Spectral Analysis on Power E*TRADE is a visually stunning tool that helps you visualize maximum profit and loss for an options strategy and understand your risk metrics
You can test strategies using the paper trading capabilities of E*TRADE Pro’s desktop platform, which uses delayed data so you won’t think you’re placing real trades.
On all platforms, you’ll find a ubiquitous trade ticket with streaming real-time data.
Tiered commission schedule for options trades, charging $0.65 per contract for less frequent traders and $0.50 for those who place more than 30 options trades per quarter.
Investors who would like direct access to international markets or to trade foreign currencies should look elsewhere.
You cannot consolidate your externally-held accounts to form a complete picture of your net worth on E*TRADE.
Best for Low-Cost Options Trading: eOption
- Account Minimum: $0
- Fees: $0 per stock/ETF trade, $1.99 base per leg plus $0.10 per contract for options trades
eOption charges $1.99 per leg for options trades, but the per-contract fee is significantly lower than its competitors, making it great for heavy options traders. eOption also offers commission-free stock and ETF trading so those who are options-oriented traders but also want access to other assets at a low cost will have no issues here. Clearing and exchange fees, typically a fraction of a penny per share, are spelled out on the order confirmation screen and are passed through to customers. eOption also scored highly for its relatively low margin rates.
eOption offers great value for frequent options traders.
The browser-based eOption Trader platform is easy to use.
Newsletter subscribers can auto-trade their alerts.
Limited education offerings.
News feeds are limited.
Any OTCBB (penny stock) trades must be made with a live broker.
Other Options Considerations
The commission structure for options trades tends to be more complicated than its equivalent for stock trades. Until the commission cuts that swept the industry in the fall of 2020, most brokers charged a fee for each leg of an options spread plus a commission per contract being traded. The per-leg fees, which made 2- and 4-legged spreads expensive, have been eliminated industry-wide, for the most part. We are also seeing some brokers place caps on commissions charged for certain trading scenarios.
Investors with fairly large portfolios can also take advantage of portfolio margining at some brokers. This is a practice that assesses the total risk inherent in a portfolio that contains stocks and derivatives. Investors with large portfolios can use portfolio margining to reduce the size of the margin loan.
What Kind of Options Trader Are You?
The first and most important piece of information to consider before selecting an options trading account is what kind of trader you are. What is your trading style and risk appetite? Which tools would you like to have handy?
Options are complex products to understand and trade. All of the brokers listed above allow customers to build complex options positions as a single order. Some brokers, such as Vanguard, only allow one position per order, leaving it to the individual trader to place multiple orders one at a time to create a combination position. Merrill Edge lets you place two-legged spreads, but anything more complex will require an additional order.
If you’re just getting started with options trading, the quality of education and help offered by your broker is important. Frequent traders and those who trade a large number of contracts will be more sensitive to commissions and fees, so check out your prospective broker’s charges and make sure you understand them.
Investopedia is dedicated to providing investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. Our reviews are the result of months of evaluating all aspects of an online broker’s platform, including the user experience, the quality of trade executions, the products available on its platforms, costs and fees, security, the mobile experience and customer service. We established a rating scale based on our criteria, collecting thousands of data points that we weighed into our star-scoring system.
In addition, every broker we surveyed was required to fill out an extensive survey about all aspects of its platform that we used in our testing. Many of the online brokers we evaluated provided us with in-person demonstrations of its platforms at our offices.
Our best options brokers have a wealth of tools that help you measure and manage risk as you determine which trades to place. These brokers include valuable education that helps you grow in sophistication as an options trader. Investors with fairly large portfolios can take advantage of portfolio margining at certain brokers, a practice that assesses the total risk inherent in a portfolio that contains stocks and derivatives, and can reduce the size of your margin loan.
Our team of industry experts, led by Theresa W. Carey, conducted our reviews and developed this best-in-industry methodology for ranking online investing platforms for users at all levels. Click here to read our full methodology.
The Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
Perfect For Beginners and Middle-Leveled Traders!
Free Demo Account!
Free Trading Education!
Get Your Sign-Up Bonus Now!
Good Broker For Experienced Traders!