Tick Data Suite

If you were expecting a flashy sales page, I’m sorry to disappoint you. The Tick Data Suite is geared towards individuals who are not impressed by huge colored and possibly flashing text, so all that you will read below are facts that you should know prior to purchasing your copy.

Backtesting Forex strategies is certainly one of the most efficient ways of gauging their profitability potential. I would go as far as saying it’s THE best way unless you’re in possession of very extensive forward testing results. However, with Metatrader 4 – the most popular Forex platform nowadays – backtesting is inherently flawed. Metatrader 4 does not store the actual ticks coming from the broker’s server; the best data at its disposal is data from the M1 timeframe – it only has the open, high, low, close and number of ticks for each minute. So, if it only has these for values, you might be wondering how does it produce the ticks that happened within each minute and the answer is easy: it generates fake ticks through interpolation based on the tick count for each minute. If you didn’t understand what’s the problem yet, I’ll point it out for you: the ticks generated this way are not the real ticks, they are essentially fake ticks! Not only that, but Metatrader 4 is only able to backtest your robot using the fixed spread, whereas all good brokers nowadays use variable spread! It simply uses the current spread of your broker so, for example, if you’re testing an Asian scalper robot during the day, the results will be completely misleading.

Now, if you have a strategy that deals with hundreds of pips for each trade and only closes at a stop loss or take profit, the fact that the ticks in your backtest are not the actual ticks does not really matter that much. However, if you have a scalping strategy that takes profit at 10-20 pips or if you have a strategy that follows the market closely with a trailing stop, backtesting with ticks that actually happened and with the real spread will make a world of difference.

That’s where the Tick Data Suite steps in – using it allows you to use tick data and variable spread in your Metatrader 4 backtesting to obtain an unprecedented accuracy and 99% modeling quality. Since tick data is available for free from multiple brokers, you can even test your expert advisors to see how they would perform with different data sources. By using the Tick Data Suite you can certainly perform a much better appraisal of the strategy you’re evaluating and you can gain the confidence needed to test it live. To make it even more realistic, the Tick Data Suite goes as far as offering an option that allows you to simulate slippage in backtesting.

In case you’re wondering how dramatic can the dissimilarity be, take a look at the backtests in my Fast Forex Millions article – the difference between what you get with history center data and what you get with tick data is obvious: while the EA performed very nice with history center data, it didn’t do nearly as well when backtested with tick data. For that matter, you can take a look at pretty much any of my articles that includes backtests and judge the contrast between tick data and history center data.

You’re invited to check it out yourself – a free 7 day trial is available with the full functionality of the product. All you have to do is download it, follow the other guides on this website and get started with your own 99% modeling quality backtests! I’m not going to tell you that it’s very easy, but if you’re committed to getting the best possible accuracy in your backtests I have no doubt that you will be able to summon the will to go through the process and at the end you will probably conclude that it wasn’t that hard after all. Personally, as anyone can see in my articles, I use tick data for virtually all the robots that I backtest and there’s nothing that keeps you from doing the same!

The Tick Data Suite features:

  • Allows using tick data in Metatrader 4 backtesting.
  • Allows running expert advisor optimizations using tick data.
  • Allows backtesting with real, variable spread.
  • Lifts the 4GB size limitation that Metatrader 4 has for its FXT data files, effectively allowing you to backtest the whole data range in a single go.
  • Offers the option to enable slippage in backtests.
  • Allows starting multiple Metatrader 4 copies from the same folder, letting you run multiple backtests or optimizations at the same time
  • Prevents overwriting existing FXT data files using the every tick model, so it saves a lot of time even when repeatedly backtesting the same time period with history center data.
  • Automatically detects if your data files are using variable spread or not.
  • Works great with 3rd party products such as the Walk Forward Analyzer

The Tick Data Suite is priced at $97 and includes one month of free support & updates. Once this period expires, a $10 monthly subscription is charged for continued support and updates.

Upon confirmation of your purchase, the product will be immediately available for download. The serial number that you are provided is valid on a single workstation with unlimited Metatrader 4 clients. Moving it to a different workstation (for instance, your VPS) is a seamless process, but it is worth noting that this can only be performed once every 48 hours and it deactivates your copy on any other workstations.

Full refunds can be requested and will be granted within the first 60 days from the date of the purchase, however please consider trying out the full featured Tick Data Suite trial version prior to purchasing to determine if it meets your needs.

Buy now via Clickbank

Discount offers:

  • You can have up to 5 licenses with the recurring billing of a single license. Once you’ve purchased a copy, head to the additional license page if you need more.
  • You can purchase 5 licenses for the price of 4. This 5 license package also has an associated recurring billing fee of $10, just like a single license. Click here to take advantage of this offer.

If you wish to subscribe to the Tick Data Suite newsletter to receive product news (mostly notifications when new versions are available) please use this form:

  • #769 written by GP October 8, 2016 (2 months ago)

    Hi Birt,

    I just downloaded the setup file tds2-setup-v2.1.1.0.exe. After I accept the end user licence agreement I get an error message that there is a problem with the Windows Installer pakage. A DLL required for the install could not be found.
    How can I fix this?

  • #772 written by Alex October 19, 2016 (1 month ago)

    Hi Birt,

    will your TDS be available for MT5 one day?

    • #773 written by birt October 19, 2016 (1 month ago)

      Maybe, maybe not. Right now there is nowhere near enough demand to warrant some 6+ months of work on such an endeavor.

  • #774 written by Kay Street October 31, 2016 (1 month ago)

    Hi Birt,

    Initially, in the previous version, i would create renko candles from the downloaded tickstoy .csv file, and run my test using tds. Buy after the upgrade to the latest version, MT4 gets history from ducascopy, and i am not able to locate the ducascopy csv file.. Where does the tds download the csv file to?
    Thank you.

    • #775 written by birt October 31, 2016 (1 month ago)

      With TDS2 you no longer need to use CSV or FXT files. Please see the Quick start guide for more information.

      However, that also means that you can’t backtest Renko or other types of custom bars, at least not until that functionality is directly implemented in TDS2 (it is on the planned features list, feel free to vote “Yes” for it).

      Bottom line, if you need to use Renko bars stick to TDS v1.x for now.

      • #776 written by Kay Street October 31, 2016 (1 month ago)

        Cutom bars are a very essential feature as I entirely trade off of renkos, range and mean renko.
        Wish it was communicated earlier.

        Will certainly vote yes*10.

      • #777 written by Kay Street October 31, 2016 (1 month ago)

        How do I then stop further $10 monthly charges for updates?
        Because until tds works with renkos and range bars, I will need no more update.
        Thank you.

        • #778 written by birt October 31, 2016 (1 month ago)

          While custom bars might be essential for you, they are certainly not used by the majority of the tick data suite users.

          To cancel your subscription you can simply follow the Clickbank procedure. I also sent you an email with detailed cancellation instructions.

  • #779 written by Carlo November 2, 2016 (1 month ago)

    Hi Birt, the bigger issue I find of TDS2 is not some bug in v. 2 but backtest execution times.
    I’ve executed the same BT with version 2 and with version 1.4.6
    With last v. 2 that I had installed I executed BT from 2007-2016 in 105 seconds :
    USDJPY,M1: 126171666 tick events (3647169 bars, 126171666 bar states) processed in 0:01:42.820 (total time 0:01:45.956)

    With 1.4.6 with same settings (filter duplicate ticks, fixed spread) in 16″ :
    USDJPY,M1: 90737658 tick events (3662621 bars, 90795576 bar states) processed in 0:00:16.099 (total time 0:00:16.115)

    So I return to 1.4.6 version, actually with TDS2 optimizations times are over my life duration expectations.

    • #780 written by birt November 2, 2016 (1 month ago)

      On my development PC (modern specs, SSD), the total time difference between TDS v1.x and v2.x using the full Dukascopy data range for EURUSD (2003-2016) is around 1 minute. I find that acceptable for backtests seeing that a backtest for that period typically takes much longer than that.

      Also, please note that your TDS2 backtest had close to 40% more ticks than your v1.x backtest (likely due to the fixed spread duplicate tick filtering). However, even if you take that difference into account there’s certainly still going to be a duration increase.

      In any case, to combat the problem that you mentioned, among the planned features there is Using FXT files during optimization which, when implemented, will create an FXT file during the first optimization pass and will use that as a cache for further passes to prevent the decompression overhead. Feel free to vote Yes for it if it’s something you’d like to see implemented sooner.

      All things considered, on my PC TDS2 basically reads and decompresses 600MB into 12GB in 1 minute, I call that a win.

  • #781 written by Carlo November 2, 2016 (1 month ago)

    Hi, frankly I don’t know why TDS2 report shows more ticks than TDS1, “remove duplicate” was set also on TDS2, but difference on percentage cannot explain overall BT times difference.
    Apart for PC performances (also my PC is fast) it’s the relative difference that matters.

    • #782 written by birt November 2, 2016 (1 month ago)

      Like I said above, the difference is due to using fixed spread duplicate tick filtering.

      Example variable spread, no filtering occurs:
      Tick 1 bid 1.12345, ask 1.12350
      Tick 2 bid 1.12345, ask 1.12351

      Same example, fixed spread 5 points, tick #2 will be filtered:
      Tick 1 bid 1.12345, ask 1.12350
      Tick 2 bid 1.12345, ask 1.12350

      Just for reference, the 1 minute difference quoted in my post above was obtained by using an identical number of ticks (some ~210-215 million).

      Anyway, I completely agree: right now TDS v1.x is slightly faster for optimizations and this difference gets more noticeable the faster the EA performs. However, TDS2 will be equally fast in subsequent passes once the FXT “cache” feature mentioned above is added.

  • #783 written by Simone November 3, 2016 (1 month ago)

    If I buy Tick Data Suite, but I don’t pay the monthly subscription, can I download updated tick data? Without paying monthly subscription, what will I lose about software working? Thanks

    • #784 written by birt November 3, 2016 (1 month ago)

      Certainly, you can still download tick data. If you cancel your recurring subscription, when your support plan ends:
      – you lose access to tech support
      – your license is automatically limited to the most recent TDS version and MT4 build

      You can still fully use the version you have, download new tick data and so on.

  • #785 written by Ben November 11, 2016 (4 weeks ago)

    Hi Birt,
    I’m using TDS2 now for a while and it’s really great. However it seems that it has a disadvantage compared to TDS1: In TDS1 it was possible to use the TDS settings [slippage] also in “Open bar” or “Control points” mode of MT4. In some cases resp. for some kind of trading systems it thoroughly makes sense to also use said modes for faster testing. TDS2 also allows to change the broker’s trading conditions (for BT) which is a top feature in my opinion. However it seems that TDS2 only works in “Every tick” mode. Is this true?

    • #786 written by birt November 11, 2016 (4 weeks ago)

      That is correct – TDS2 only applies the configured settings to tick data backtests.

      There is a planned feature to extend that to non-tick-data backtests, please see Advanced settings in regular backtests. Be sure to vote “Yes” if it’s something you’d like to see implemented sooner.

      • #787 written by Ben November 11, 2016 (4 weeks ago)

        Ok, thx for the info.

  • #788 written by Carlo November 11, 2016 (4 weeks ago)

    finally I see that you consider the feature “Use tick data for the Control Points and Open Prices models”
    Yes, it is a very importanti feature.
    Normal users of TDS thinks that a tick by tick backtest has a very big meaning, but it’s not true in most of cases.
    About the “Control point” feature, would be advisable to have a simple OHLC mode ( only 4 prices per bar) keeping the HL in the original sequence (if H happened before L the H tick must happen before the L tick and vice versa).

    • #789 written by birt November 11, 2016 (4 weeks ago)

      That feature has been on the planned features list ever since the list was posted 🙂 However, even when it gets implemented, the Control Point and Open Prices data will still be generated by MT4 so the bar high and bar low will happen in random order, just like MT4 generates them now.

      In any case, backtesting using these models is not indicative and can be misleading for the vast majority of EAs, but optimizing with them is generally a good idea provided that the EA has been designed with this in mind. Like I said numerous times before, the necessity to backtest using tick data is inversely proportional to the average number of pips per trade that an EA generates: as the average number of pips per trade becomes lower, the necessity to use tick data becomes higher.

      • #790 written by Carlo November 11, 2016 (4 weeks ago)

        Have you considered to create a simple fxt file with OHLC and use that to drive the tester? ( Like a tick by tick mode but with only essential ticks). Adding, for example, an option to the default tester dropdown list of “Model :” ?
        A backtest with M1 bars in this mode is very significative and fast for most of eas and many scalpers (for optimizations, obviously). The difference in time is enormous.

        • #791 written by birt November 11, 2016 (4 weeks ago)

          I agree, that could be quite useful for optimizations.

          It was added to the planned features list, see Backtesting model with configurable number of ticks per minute. No ETA, though.

          • #792 written by Ben November 13, 2016 (3 weeks ago)

            The icing on the cake would be if you could also offer a BT mode that uses exactly “all M1 OHLCs” in every timeframe (like M15, H4 etc.) because this would be the best compromise for speed and accuracy while optimization!

            • #793 written by birt November 13, 2016 (3 weeks ago)

              That’s exactly what the option will do. If you set the tick density to 4/minute, it’ll give you M1 OHLC prices no matter what timeframe you choose.

              • #794 written by Ben November 14, 2016 (3 weeks ago)


  • #795 written by Carlo November 19, 2016 (3 weeks ago)

    Hi Birt, I’m still using previous version 1 because I’ve done an expert that need to enter at market some seconds before the end of M1 bar.
    In live mode I use the OnTimer function but in BT it don’t works.
    So I create csv files with a dummy tick at the required second of any minute bar (I add or subtract a “point” to the previous tick in order to avoid to send same price in order to be able to remove duplicate ticks without removing this special tick).
    I’ve seen that with version 2 direct csv import is not present, so I would like to know if there is some circumvention in order to have a tick at a required second every minute with v 2.

    • #796 written by birt November 19, 2016 (3 weeks ago)

      Unfortunately, it is not possible to do that with TDS2.

  • #797 written by Matthias November 20, 2016 (2 weeks ago)

    Hi Birt,
    please refund my purchase from yesterday.
    Your software seems good but the purchase was my fault.


    • #798 written by birt November 20, 2016 (2 weeks ago)

      To request a refund, please use the Clickbank support URL in the email you received when you purchased.

  • #799 written by Ben November 21, 2016 (2 weeks ago)

    Hi Birt,
    I just want to give you a little note regarding TDS2: When running multiple instances with the same expert AND the same magic number, TDS2 seems to be a little bit “buggish”. For example if I stop said EA (on one TDS2 instance) and open the expert’s properties window, the setting will immediately change to the last modified EA setting of the other TDS2 instances. This is not so problematic but I think it’s worth to mention it.

    • #800 written by birt November 21, 2016 (2 weeks ago)

      That’s an MT4 issue, it used to work fine until build ~800 at which point they changed it to the current behavior for some reason. There’s not much I can do about it, unfortunately.

  • #801 written by Ben November 24, 2016 (2 weeks ago)

    Hi Birt,
    How can I ensure that the “Tick data settings” consider accurately the broker’s original conditions? It seems that the default values are not corresponding to them e.g. “Stopout” of FXCM is 100 % and not 30 % as shown in “Tick data settings -> Margin -> default”. It seems that once I’ve changed the values I can’t restore the broker’s original values. Is this true?

    • #802 written by birt November 24, 2016 (2 weeks ago)

      First of all, if you have any other support requests kindly submit them using the support form or via the Tick Data Suite support assistant instead of posting here.

      In any case, to use the broker’s defaults all you have to do is disable the override checkbox – when the override checkbox is disabled, the default broker setting is used.

  • #803 written by Irene November 27, 2016 (1 week ago)

    Hi I understand that there is a monthly subscription required after the purchase.

    Q1. Is the monthly subscription compulsory? In other words, do I have to subscribe to it forever?

    Q2. When I purchase the software, is it a lifetime free licence or I have to continue the monthly subscription in order to continue using it? In another words, if I want to stop the monthly subscription, does it mean I can’t use the software anymore?

    I want to know whether on the long term, this is going to be an “expensive” software. It would cost me $97 + $110 = $207 for the 1st year and subsequently $120 per year. If I use this software for 5yrs, the total cost is $687.

    Wouldn’t it be more cost efficient to purchase Multi Chart or other software that also has tick data optimisation and many other impressive features in the long run that would not only allow me to do tick data backtesting, optimization, develop my own EA etc?

    I would most likely make a purchase without much thought (provided the software really provide 99% accurate backtesting results and is users friendly) but I’m rather concern about the ongoing cost of having to paying the monthly subscription, which make me start comparing other softwares that may offer more features and cost the same in the long run (though the upfront fees may seem substantially more).

    I hope you would kindly consider, do away with the monthly subscription fees.


    • #804 written by birt November 27, 2016 (1 week ago)

      Tick Data Suite is not a product that sells like hotcakes. Without the subscription there would be no incentive to work on support and updates. I know that most Forex products have as good as no support and no updates, but that is not the case with the Tick Data Suite and I never intend to place it in that product category so the subscription is there to stay. The monthly fee has been there since day 1, almost 5 years ago.

      In any case, you can cancel the subscription at any time, your license will still work fine. However, when your support subscription ends, you lose access to tech support and your license is limited to the most recent TDS version and MT4 build. If you wish to restore the subscription at a later time, a $29 package is available.

      In short, it’s just like with other software – when Microsoft releases a new Office version you don’t expect to get it for free if you purchased Office ’97 20 years ago. It’s just that with the TDS updates are needed more often than once every 1-2 years and on top of that you actually get support when you need it.

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