If you do not have a computer to allocate just for automated trading 24/7 (or you do not have a reliable internet connection), you will need to run your MetaTrader software from a Virtual Private Server (VPS).
A VPS is just a computer at an offsite location that runs and stays online 24/7 with a very reliable high-speed internet connection.
You can access your VPS from your home computer any time and use it just like you would your home computer via the Remote Desktop Connection App/program that comes standard with all Windows computers. Do a search on your computer if you can't find it or CLICK HERE for a Windows VPS login tutorial. MAC users may need to download the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection APP. Your VPS company will provide you with an IP address, username and password to your VPS.
A new VPS usually comes with very strict security settings so after logging into your VPS, open your internet browser's security settings (on your VPS) and enable downloads in the advanced security settings.
You may also need to lower your overall browser security settings. This will allow you to download MT4 and your robot files onto the VPS through the web browser. Once your browser's security settings are lowered, log into your broker's website then download and install their MT4 trading platform onto your VPS.
MT4 Installation Tip: If you will be running more than 1 instance of MT4 simultaneously, change the name of the MT4 program file in C:/Program Files (x86) immediately after installation. Just add a number 1 after the name like "MetaTrader-1" or "MT4-1". This will allow you to install additional instances of MT4 in the future without overwriting the original installation. Since hedging is not allowed at US forex brokers, US citizens will need to install and run a separate MT4 for each GBP/JPY robot they intend to trade so they can each run on a separate MT4 account to prevent conflicting trades.
Following are popular VPS providers:
1and1.com Virtual Cloud Servers (I use the Cloud M package) Starting at $4.99/month +$10/month for Windows OS.
Vultr.com (Starting at $4.99/month + $16/month for Windows +hourly usage rate)
Beeksfx.com (Good VPS's but expensive and poor customer service)
Ultrahosting.com (High prices and slow VPS's but still an option)
I had a VPS from both 1and1 and UltraHosting and my VPS at 1and1 was so much faster that I dumped UltraHosting and got another 1and1 VPS at a fraction of the price. I use the Cloud M package with 1 GB RAM and 50 GB storage space for $4.99/month for the first year then $9.99/month starting the 2nd year plus $10/month for Windows OS. I highly recommend 1and1 for both speed and price and they have excellent customer support.
YOU MUST HAVE A WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEM ON YOUR VPS so choose the latest Windows Operating System they offer (usually the same price as their oldest version). Windows costs more per month but it is necessary to run MT4. I now have 3 VPS from 1and1 each running up to 6 MT4s simultaneously. I only noticed a slight lag after adding the 6th MT4 so it can handle a lot. After purchasing your VPS from 1and1, you can access your VPS login credentials under on the 1and1 website at: My Products/Cloud or My Contracts/Contract Overview/1&1 CloudPanel. Click the IP address and it will show your Username (usually Administrator) and password. If your username is "root" then you likely got a Linux OS and you must contact customer support to have it changed to Windows.
My UltraHosting plan was the VPS-F 10 for $33/month located at the link above but I'm only including it here so you have a choice. I don't recommend UltraHositing! My UltraHosting VPS was super slow with only 3 MT4s running.
Vultr.com has good prices and I have done several installations for clients on their servers and they seem just as fast as 1and1.com servers. So, if 1and1 does not accept you due to your country of residence (they don't service all countries) then Vultr.com is the next best choice.
BeeksFX has a good reputation and I've read good things about them but they are expensive. I tried to get a VPS at BeeksFX but I couldn't even get a reply from their customer support so that was the end of that effort, but I've included the link above so you have options. BeeksFX has servers all over the world and are known for having super fast speeds and are often used by scalpers, but that's not important with my robots since they are not scalpers and often go for big moves.
It's important that you disable automatic Window's updates on your VPS, otherwise, your system will reboot after every update and will close your MT4 software. Instead, you can do manual updates on the weekends.
ALSO.... AVOID CLOSING MT4 in the middle of a money management cycle. If you restart the MT4 platform when there are no open trades, the EA (Robot) will default to the minimum lots on the next trade when the software is restarted. For example, if your robot just had 3 winning trades and the next trade should be 4 units (and no trades are currently open during restart), then it will default back to your minimum lots (1 unit) if the software was closed after the 3rd winning trade.
However, you can compensate for this by simply disabling Roulette Trader Money Management (change to False) and use the Fixed Lot setting. In this example, you would change the Fixed Lots setting to 0.04 (for a 4th unit trade). Once the next trade is opened at 0.04 lots, you can then reactivate Roulette Trader Money Management (change back to True) and the EA will resume the unit count based on the result of the open trade.
Keep in mind that if you restart your MT4 during an open trade, then no adjustments are needed for the EAs that have open trades at the time of restart. The EA (Robot) will continue to properly calculate the lots of the next trade based on the trade that was open during restart. So, always try to time your MT4 restarts (or Windows Updates) when you have open trades on every EA.
How to know which EAs opened each trade: If you enable "comments" in your open trades tab and in your trade history tab, it will display the name of the EA in the right column of your trade report. To enable comments, right-click over any trade and check "comments" from the pop-up window.
For more info on these topics, visit: RouletteTrader.com/ea-tips
Recompiling your EA: The same is true if you compile your Expert Advisor source code. After each compile, the robot will default back to the minimum lots on the next trade so do not make changes to the EA source code in the middle of a trading cycle. Instead, use the Expert Advisor Properties feature on the chart to change any settings. To do this, right click on the chart that the EA is attached to and select "Expert Advisor > Properties" from the popup window. If your EA ever gets detached from your chart and must be re-attached, check these properties settings to make sure they did not change to the defaults in the source code.