UPDATE: (4/7/11): The free option is not working anymore. The only way to setup text message alerts is by following the instructions in this post.
How do you know when the GBPCHF is close to entering a limit order when you are away from your computer? Set up an alarm that sends a text message to your mobile phone, of course!
But how do you do that? There are two ways to do it, one is free, the other is paid.
What are the pros and cons?
The free service is free and we all know that free is best! But when things are free, they may not stay free forever. The only problem with a free service is that people may abuse it or a lot of people may start to use it and they may take it away or start charging, sometimes without notice. This could be disastrous for you as a trader because you may not get an alert to check your trade when it is going against you.
So what is the bad part about paying for a service? Well, it costs money. However, in the next part of this two part series, I will show you how to use a paid service to ensure that you will get your text message alerts. If you are consistently making money trading, then you should invest a little money to be sure you are properly updated.
If you are just starting out or you are trading live but your strategy does not absolutely require you to be updated with text messages, then the free option is good enough. However, if it crucial that you get updates on how your trade is going when you step away from the computer, you need to get a paid service eventually.
Here is how you set it up with the free service:
First, you need to sign up for a free email account at GMX.com. This is the only free email service that I know of that will work with Metatrader 4 as of the writing of this post. If you know of others that you have tried and work for sure, leave a comment below and let everyone know about it.
Just create an account and write down your email address and password. You will never need to actually check this email account, you just need it to use their server to send the text messages via email.
Websites like Yahoo, Google, Hotmail and the others will not work because they require a secure connection to use the SMTP server (a type of server used to send email). Since Metatrader 4 does not have an option to use a secure connection, the other email sites will refuse the connection.
After you have created an account, you need to setup Metatrader.
Go to the Tools menu and select Options.
Then select the Email tab in the window that pops up and follow these setting (click to enlarge).
Just substitute your email address for your-email and your password. You will also need the email address of your phone to send text messages to it. There are many sites that list the email address for your phone provider, click here to see one.
Enter your 10 digit phone number followed by the specific ending for your mobile phone carrier in the To field.
Then click the Test button to send a text message to your phone. You should get a text message in a few seconds. If that doesn't work, then double check your settings. You can go to View –> Terminal in the menu at the top to see the Terminal window. Then click on the Journal tab to see if your text messages are getting rejected. If all else fails, check with your phone carrier to double check that their email to text message service is working.
So that is all there is to it…pretty easy right? Stay tuned for the next part of this series where I show you what I use to send text messages from Metatrader.
UPDATE (4/7/2011): A reader mentioned that he tried this free option and it stopped working after 3 or 4 times. GMX has probably caught on and could be limiting SMTP use on their servers. If so, then the only option is to use paid hosting click here to learn how to do it.