Application Programming Interfaces

Connectivity

The IB API must use an Access Method (either TWS or the IB Gateway) before it can connect to the IB trading system through one of the available Connection Types described below.

If you prefer quick access to the latest production version, log in to the browser-based TWS or IB Gateway, which you access from the Login command on the menu above. If you prefer to upgrade manually to ensure that your API works with a specific version of TWS or the IB Gateway, download the standalone version(s) below to your desktop.

Access Method Comparison

You can log into either interface at any time with no repercussions. You may want to use TWS for testing, and subsequently run the IB Gateway to conserve system resources. Both access methods are upgraded synchronously and provide the same features; the primary difference is that the IB Gateway has no graphical user interface (GUI).

Feature TWS IB Gateway
Provides a GUI that allows you to see and manage API orders. Yes No
Must remain running to maintain access to IB trading system. Yes Yes
Can be logged in to from the IB web site Login menu (always latest version) or downloaded as a standalone version. Yes Yes
Can also be used as a connection interface for the FIX CTCI API. No Yes
GUI-less interface runs more efficiently and uses fewer system resources. No Yes

Connection Types

Only one type of connection may be used for each account (account types with multiple accounts, such as advisors, may only have one connection type for all accounts). Switches in connection type can take up to a week.

Connection Type Access Method
Required?
Description
Internet Yes Standard connection through public internet.
Extranet Yes A T1 line routed to one of IB's extranet providers, Radianz TNS or Savvis. They route directly to IB over a secure private line.
Dedicated Line Yes Client pays for a T1 line that connects directly to one of IB's Data Centers, which are located throughout the world. A dedicated lease line connects users directly into the IB system and facilitates a quicker and more secure connection than a regular Internet line.

For monthly minimums per connection type, see the Required Minimums page, Connection Minimums.

Note:

Individuals and Non-pro advisors who require Extranet, VPN, Dedicated Line, or CTCI integration should send a request to tac@interactivebrokers.com. Pro Advisors, Institutions, and Brokers requiring integration should contact their sales representative. Integration can take up to a week.