Everyone knows the business world is now run on the world wide web, and stock trading is no exception. From email interaction to file downloads and streaming tickers, it seems an internet connection is also a key feature to a day trader's system. So how much is enough?
Speed is obvious necessity. Working without a hi-speed connection is like entering a stock car race with a bicycle. Not only are you going to come in last, but there's a chance you're going to get run over in the process! As a rule of thumb, you need not consider anything less than 5MBPS (5 megabytes per second). Anything lower and your pipeline will simply not achieve the capacity it needs to meet to handle the streaming data. Instead, it will bottleneck your information and in essence "clog" your connection, slowing down every single process while online. 5MBPS+ is the way to go.
And in all honesty, the 5MBPS rule is really a minimum. This will allow some streaming, and general download/upload capabilities via the web. It will work effectively, but is by no means a proficient speed. Many providers these days offer 25 on upwards of 100MBPS rates, and it is always recommended to take full advantage. Most data plans are relative in cost to the rates you'll get, and most prices are fair. While 100MBPS may be overload for many traders, for others, it could be a dream come true. You might be surprised at what an enormous difference a lightning-fast internet speed can bring.
Trading Computers take a bit of investment, both in money and research, but when your end result is a well-oiled, super efficient machine that can take quite literally anything you throw at it, you'll see it's the ROI is well worth it. As a trader you expect to work hard, smart, and for it to pay off in large sums; shouldn't you expect the same out of your most valuable tool?