There are three (3) main apps available for Mac, Windows, and Unix that allow you to access your trading account once it’s been set up. If you’ve just filled out your IBKR paper trading form and are waiting for it to activate, you might be interested to experiment with the “demo” option available in each app. You can even make trades while you’re logged in as ‘demo’, but your positions and earnings won’t be saved and won’t count towards competition scoring in any way.
You’ll need to install one or more of these apps to be able to manage your account. Each is described below.
It is highly recommended that you download and use Trader Workstation (TWS), at least at first, so that you can familiarize yourself with important operations such as trade order entry, charting, the various financial assets, and so on in a graphical environment.
The Client Portal is your account management website where you can view basic info about your account, including statements, balances, and trading activity.
TWS is IBKR’s graphical client app that connects to the brokerage and allows you to make trades and view real-time market data, including news & bulletins. TWS is intended to be installed on your computer and can be customized to your liking following the documentation on IBKR’s home page.
To install TWS, you’ll want to visit the TWS download page and install the correct version for your system. Log in using your IBKR credentials and start trading!
IB Gateway is identical to TWS in every way except that there is no graphical user interface (GUI) – you’re expected to connect to a running instance of IBG using one of the various APIs made available by IBKR. To download, visit the IBG download page. Use this if you plan on making trades with an external system such as an app you’ve written in a language like R or Python.
IBKR maintains a set of videos on their Traders’ University site where you can learn about the different financial instruments and how to trade them using your system of choice.