I'm afraid I didn't really get out of the stables with esignal let alone run with them.
I took out the basic package and took the extra indicies services. I wanted to get a grip with the charting software before I felt confident enough to switch charting providers. The esignal platform is slick, easy on the eye and fun to use (yeah I know 'fun').
However a product is only as good as its customer service and if you have no cause to contact the customer service team then you are quite likely to remain blissfully unaware of just how weak the customer service is.
After feeling confident enough with the software I was ready to start trading but for this I needed to buy additional European data. I visited the website to buy the add on data but encountered an error message when trying to purcthe date data. The message informed that there was indeed an error and that the administration team had been informed and for me to keep trying. I kept trying. Kept trying quite a lot over a few days. I was really keen to start trading with the help of esignals support but I just couldn't access the data I needed.
Eventually, I sent an email, thoughtfully expressing my problem and seeking advice, a resolution, or a refund. That's fair, right?
I waited about four days for a reply. The advisor basically informed me that although the administrator had been informed of the error message I kept recieving esignal won't be in touch. Also that I wouldn't be entitled to a refund.
From the email it was inferred that I may have been successful in purchasing the data I needed.
Any way in response to the email I tried again to buy the service as was requested and l also asked if I had unwittingly bought the data as the advisor seemed to suggest. Also I did request a quick resolution to the problem or I my money back.
So I tried and tried again to but the same data and each time the same error message appeared. I definately hadn't bought the extra data as I was unable to access the data.
I waited over a week for the next reply which ignored most of my questions and queries and basically repeated the first email.
In the mean time I had received a customer satisfaction email questionnaires where I marked them very lowly on customerservice and I also replied to my advisor by saying lets call it quits, I can't use esignal as you won't let me buy the data from you, so give me my money back and I will take my business elsewhere. Surely that's fair?
Whilst waiting for a reply to that email I was charged for the next subscription period. This made me cross as over a month had passed and I was still unable to trade or find any resolution to the problem. I logged a complaint on their website and have neither heard from my advisor or had a response to my complaint.
I give up on esignal just as they have given up on providing any sort of solution focused customer support. I realise that reading an account of someone's problem can be less than enjoyable to read but if you have come this far, thank you and please be aware that a product is useless unless it can actually resolve the problems it's customers are having. I was enthusiastic to be an esignal customer and am annoyed that I have had no choice but to cancel my subscription.
Anywho such is the cut and thrust. All I would say is buyer beware!
eSignal is very well established in the marketplace. There is truth in the old saying "dafety in numbers"!
It is difficult to describe the positives of eSignal, because in this price bracket it is the benchmark technical analysis package. eSignal offers a range of chart types over various intervals - so you can combine Kagi charts on range intervals, for example. It also has one of the most user friendly Market Profile add ons in the market. It beats CQG here in my view, which isn't really a substitute product.
The coding language of eSignal is pretty advanced; and, as it has such a wide following, there are usually people around that can give you a few pointers. It is based mostly around the Java programming language.
In the latest version (11), eSignal have for the first time introduced the option of having tabbed "pages" for users to scroll through. For a long while this was a significant drawback for many users.
The orderbook / level II windows in eSignal are very good indeed.
They have a wide selection of exchanges to add to your feed.
User support is average, but the online customer portal allows you to add or remove products or services to your account that take effect in less than 10 mins.
It is reliable.
Alot of other packages (such as MarketDelta, Ninjatrader, and so on) are compatible with a live eSignal feed.
eSignal make you pay extra for just about everything! If you want futures, that is automatically another $25 fee. If you would like access to the level II data (that you have already paid for!!), that's another $20. Want more ticker limits? You have to pay!
Option for custom tickers is VERY limited.
There is no middleground for those with little programming experience but aren't total morons. The wizard is fine for moving average crossovers, but anything else and you need to know java or have a mate that does.
In this price bracket, eSignal are the biggest boys in the playground. And they know it. The product is workable, and in most cases capable of meeting it's users requirements. This however, will cost more money and effort than it should.
No matter how good the charting applications or the EFS functions are, the system is only as good as the data. The serious problems with the data I will address towards the end of this review. I used to be a CQG user and switched to eSignal. I found this to be a mistake. Using a 4 screen set up, the chart layouts are fine if you never change them. I found I had to constantly drag charts around as they never reappeared where I had left them. They also never saved under the names I had stored them under but always under the default names. If there is a way round this problem then it was never shown to me despite requests. This just slowed things down. The data problem was the biggest problem. As of March 2007 I had run eSignal for 6 months and had constant promises that the problems would be resolved. The first problem is that many daily futures charts, and time periods longer than this, do not have the correct "close". They use the settlement price which is not the closing price. On the DAX for example this is calculated around 17:29 Frankfurt time. The close is at 22:00. The price difference could be massive and gives false signals. Settlement prices are only of use for book-keeping. They have little to do with technical analysis and there are quite a number of active contracts that have this problem. The second, and most serious problem, is the loss of data which was referred to by eSignal as "a known bug". Not all users will see this. If you open a chart that is longer than 60m but shorter than a day, the bug can kick in. Take the example of the German Bund being used with a 210m chart. The first time frame starts at 08:00 Frankfurt time. the second start at 11:30. The data will be collected from 08:00 to 09:00 and then from 11:30 onwards. The period from 09:00 to 11:30 will be lost. If you leave the chart open, the missing data will be displayed correctly until you either close the chart or refresh the data. The problem is created because eSignal reset their servers at midnight Pacific time which is when the data starts to get lost. Many traders just accept that the charts that they make decisions from are correct. This assumption can often be expensive.
Having said this, I know of many traders who only use very short time frames for their trading and they have no problems. For this type of trading I think eSignal is good value and seems to be relatively bug free.
I use e-Signal, too. I agree with your comments. It would be useful to have a larger base of hourly data. I back-test all my platforms, and I can only go back 5-6 months on the hourly stuff. That's better than nothing, but it would be statistically more meaningful, if it went back at least 1 year. (I'm ready to pay for this, too.)
The datafeed is quite reliable, though I have had a few interruptions during power surges (I trade from the Philippines.)
No feed is perfect but this gets close for me. That´s why I´ve been using eSignal Advanced Charts since it came out and before that Signal on Satellite (what an improvement the internet feed has been!)
For me the online library of efs write your own studies has proved invaluable in my trading. The range of Fibonacci tools in the Advanced GET part of the package I could not daytrade without. As far as support goes, genearlly they are responsive, though sometimes I have had to be persistant with them to get a response. A lot of problems are addressed on their forums. I have not used the DDE facility for some time(since 1998), though when I did use it it worked well to feed bespoke formulas via Excel into TS2000i. General feed uptime is excellent, and has improved recently. The last time I experienced a break was about a week ago, (and that was it for me as it was late in the day!) but before that I cannot remember a break in data. I was trading DAX futures at the time so this did not appear to affect US markets. Clearly this is not Bloomberg when it comes to support, but its not a Bloomberg price either.
Also, in the tech analysis department it leaves feeds like Zeh Bloomberg in the dust, so its a case of horses for courses and price points. Certain indicators and efs studies can bog down the front end application, and they could improve on this, but one has to be fair and say that in providing the ability to write and execute ones own code one must deal with the fact that one could then crash the system (i.e. Don´t drive a sports car if you don´t accept the fact that its a complex animal and a burst on the accelerator the wrong time can land you in the wrong place)!
I run a 2 screen setup, one with 9 charts and the other with only 2 charts and a quote screen on a variety of laptops. It does not get bogged down, but I heard there is a fairly well known trader on these boards who is using a bunch of 26inch screens and hundreds of charts. He has had to buy another eSignal feed to make them all work but he is also running lots of efs custom studies etc so I don´t know whether its the charts with the number of studies that slows the app down. One other advantage of the feed is that the application sits independent of the server. This mod was also instituted by the folks at Trade Station some years ago and is useful,as if the app crashes it does not crash the feed collector and restarting is reasonably quick. Years ago, it would take one Greek trader I know 30 mins to restart Comstock and TS everytime it crashed. If my eSignal crashes I am back and up in around 40 secs after the studies are loaded (one takes a very long time) otherwise it would be more like 10s.
One thing they could do better is to maintain more online daily historical data, even if they charged extra for it. For example, I can´t get access to the March DAX intraday stuff anymore for back testing. This is not great. They must be able to maintain this. After all it could be lucrative for them! Overall, this is an excellent datafeed and excellent value for money for the serious trader.
June 15, 2007
No signal from the vendor at all they remain not responsive at all, typical behavior. Comstock forgot to deliver the first half hour of tick data of the DJIA yesterdays trading day. Now I ask you ..
Update June 7, 2007:
Vendor reply by PM:
eSignal does not use Comstock for any US markets so I don't understand your post on eSignal?
Huh . This is typical for a US vendor only interested in your and mine financial contribution and not being responsive at all. So I return his PM with the invite to answer what level of quality Esignal is providing in cold hard fact, how many DJIA ticks and AEX ticks did you provide YtD? And what is your DDE link performance?
Again typical, this was last Sunday.
Esignal is part of a group of companies that provides data and if the group members share the same data and quality you should keep away from any of them due to serious bad data quality. Comstock one of the members provides data I have been using. According to the vendor they provide 99% of the data. To give you the exact information: they supplied this year to date the DJIA Tick data per day ranging from 7897 to 10193. Their real-time DDE link is extremely slow and typically would miss 10% of the data. When confronted with this poor performance they do not respond at all.