IB doesn't have tick data in any meaningful sense.
Zenfire has tick data but their L1 stream/Time & Sales doesn't properly capture the condition (at bid, at ask etc).
Kinetick has tick data (it's DTN.IQ repackaged) and it is matched up perfectly from what I can see.
Note that I did comparisons of Zenfire & Kinetick side by side and Kinetick is a better feed. Still - depending on what you use, you might not need that accuracy.
Yeah, feed X is 175% more accurate then feed Y, but is it gonna make you any money? Unless you are trading some high frequency black box arbitrage system, or auto trading for 2 ticks at a time hundreds of times a day, or unless you know your system will crash and burn if your bid/ask volume is off by 12 contracts, then I don't think it matters much at all. I am a scalper, scalping for 6 ticks targets on range bars using Interactive Brokers, and have been doing for years with no issues. So, if you are a trend trader looking for 40 tick targets, I say save your money on super duper feeds.
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I agree with you to an extent Monpere - but there are scenarios where this can trip you up - mostly if you are using DOM/T&S to confirm entries.
What you generally see with Zenfire, is when the market gathers pace and moves up through a level, you will see a series of prints going off on the wrong side. One of the things I look for specifically is large traders joining in a move. If you see a number 1000+ tick prints at certain times, then it gives you a good additional confirmation. The problem is - if you are seeing those prints on the wrong side, then it's going to catch you out.
So - whilst I agree - a tick here or a tick there is irrelevant, if you rely on Time & Sales at key inflection points, then Zenfire is going to catch you out and IB will be worse than useless.
My trading is based on correct bid/ask data. I got false signals with Zenfire. I have correct signals with DNT/IQfeed.
As far as I know only 3 datafeeds fit my criteria : CQG, DTN/IQfeed and Esignal.
These 3 are made to provide you with correct data for charting.
All others IMHO like IB, Zenfire, TT, Rithmic are ordering datafeeds and should be used to place your orders on, not to create your charts. I wish it wasn't like that. I wish the free datafeed was great and perfect, unfortunately it's not.
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Kinetick = DTN/IQ rebundled, so they are fine. It's a slightly cheaper option if you just want the CME waiver symbols.
What is interesting is that Tradestation is actually spot on in terms of bid/ask too. I don't use it any more but I did test it & compare with the other feeds and Tradestation is in lockstep with Kinetick.
Shame it locks up when there's an announcement really....
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This post has been selected as an answer to the original posters question
Accurate tick data from IB is not possible. Accurate tick data from DTN (Kinetick) is a given, it is pretty much the best there is. If you aren't using tick data and are trading only equities on 5 minute charts, then IB data is "good enough" most likely. But if you are using tick data, then you owe it to yourself to use good tick data -- which is not IB.
IB filters data, it's called snapshot data, it means they are only sending some of the information. Do you want to read a book with some pages missing? You don't know if what is on those pages is important or not, so it is best to read the book with all the pages.
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