Trader Workstation review: who is it suitable for?

Trader Workstation is a trading platform created by Interactive Brokers in 2012. It’s designed for desktop use and allows users to trade various financial instruments, including stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, and funds. Next, we’ll introduce you to the Trader Workstation review, which includes the main features and how to download it.

What is Trader Workstation?

Trader Workstation is a platform developed by Interactive Brokers. It is designed to cater to various needs and is fully packed with many useful features. Among its main benefits, the following stand out:

  • Access to more than 150 markets worldwide
  • A variety of order types
  • Analysis tools
  • Portfolio and risk management
  • Market research and news

TWS can be downloaded for free by Interactive Brokers customers.

General features of the TWS platform

Let’s take a quick overview of the platform before going into more detail:

  • 💼 Financial instruments: + 100K financial instruments (stocks, options, futures, currencies…)
  • 📈 Analysis tools: +150
  • 💰 Minimum deposit: £0
  • Costs: Variable
  • ▶️ Broker: Interactive Brokers

To find out a full breakdown of costs, check out our thorough Interactive Brokers review.

How does the Interactive Brokers platform, Trader Workstation, work?

Trader Workstation is a rather advanced trading platform, as shown below. Due to the many features it boasts, we will focus on the most important features.

Trading tools

Traders can utilise a suite of charting and data analysis tools to make informed decisions. These tools help users analyse market trends and make predictions. Here are some examples:

Over 100 order types:

  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Market
  • OCA (one-cancels-all)
  • Pegged-to-stock
  • Stop with protection

ChartTrader: Traders can execute trades directly from interactive charts, making it easy to visualise and act on market data.

BookTrader: This feature enables trading from the order book, providing visibility into pending orders at various positions in the book.

Risk management

Trader Workstation offers robust risk management tools, including:

  • Risk navigator: This real-time tool measures risk exposure across multiple asset classes worldwide. It uses various data points, including asset prices, volatility, correlation, and duration.
  • Portfolio analytics: Provides an overview of portfolio risk exposure, profitability, and liquidity.
  • Trading analytics: Offers data and insights into a trader’s operations, including order details, prices, and results.
  • Risk navigator pro: An advanced version of Risk Navigator, offering custom risk model creation.


The platform includes valuable research tools such as:

  1. Fundamental explorer: Provides comprehensive financial information about companies and assets, including financial statements, ratios, analyst estimates, and news.
  2. Technical analysis: Offers tools for analysing asset price history, including charts, indicators, and patterns.
  3. News: Provides financial news from various sources.
  4. Analyst research: Access third-party analyst reports on companies and assets.
  5. Quantitative research: Offers data and information for quantitative research.

How to download Trader Workstation

Now let’s quickly see how to proceed to download the Interactive Brokers platform:

  • Visit the Interactive Brokers website.
  • Log in to your account. Alternatively, make an account first with this broker, then log in to your account. Click the login button at the top right, and a dropdown will appear, leading you to the download page.
  • On the download page, select your preferred version. Ensure it’s compatible with your operating system. You can also use the web version for easier access through your browser.

Types of TWS accounts

Interactive Brokers offers several account options to cater to different investor needs. The most commonly used accounts are the individual account and the margin account:

  • Individual account: This is the most basic account and is available for individual investors. Individual accounts are subject to standard trading costs.
  • Joint account: This account is available for two account holders. Joint accounts are subject to standard trading costs.
  • IRA account: This account is available for investors who meet eligibility requirements. IRA accounts are subject to standard trading costs and may have tax advantages.
  • Family account: A unique type of account that will allow you to manage several individual ones, from a master account.
Explanation of family account in IBKR
  • Retirement account: This account is available for investors who meet the eligibility requirements. Retirement accounts are subject to standard trading fees and may have tax advantages.
  • Margin account: Allows investors to use leverage to increase their market exposure. Margin accounts are subject to standard trading fees and margin requirements.
  • Custodial account: Available for investors who want their assets to be held by a third party. Custodial accounts are subject to standard trading fees.
  • Advisors account: This account is available for financial advisors. Advisors accounts are subject to standard trading fees.

Trader Workstation platform reviews: summary

Trader Workstation (TWS) can be overwhelming at first glance. Its initial appearance might not be very appealing, and it may not seem user-friendly. However, it offers a wide range of uses and settings, making it adaptable to various needs. The complexity of TWS depends on the user’s trading style and requirements. Over time, users tend to become more comfortable with it and may even prefer it over other platforms.

One drawback of TWS is that some of its analysis tools are not very visually appealing. As a result, many traders opt to use other platforms with more flexible and visually appealing charting tools, such as TradingView (TradingView review). Integrating TradingView charts into TWS can be a significant improvement in this regard.

Check out other trading platforms

Pros and cons of Trader Workstation

Despite being considered one of the most professional trading platforms, Trader Workstation has its advantages and disadvantages:

Pros of Trader Workstation

✅ Offers a wide range of features and tools to cater to diverse trading needs.
Customisable, allowing users to tailor it to their preferences.

✅ Suitable for both beginners and experienced traders.
✅ Access to a vast number of global markets.

Cons of Trader Workstation

❌ Initial interface may not be user-friendly.
❌ Some analysis tools lack visual appeal.
❌ Integration of third-party tools, like TradingView, may be necessary for improved functionality.

In summary, Trader Workstation is a robust trading platform with extensive capabilities, but its initial learning curve and certain visual limitations may require users to explore additional tools for a more comprehensive trading experience.


Are there any alternatives to Trader Workstation for charting and analysis tools?

Yes, while Trader Workstation offers a range of analysis tools, some traders prefer more visually appealing charting options. Examples include TradingView, MT4, and MT5.

Does Trader Workstation offer a mobile app for trading on the go?

Yes, Interactive Brokers provides a mobile app version of Trader Workstation, known as the IBKR Mobile app. It allows users to trade and manage their accounts from their smartphones or tablets.

Are there any fees associated with using Trader Workstation (TWS)?

Trader Workstation itself is available for free to Interactive Brokers customers. However, keep in mind that trading on financial markets involves commissions, spreads, and other fees that may apply depending on your trading activity.

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