TC2000 and eSignal are two of the most popular charting platforms available so far. In fact, if you’re looking to bring out your charting A-game, we’d encourage you to give at least one of them a try. That said, they do have their fair share of differences and depending on your budget, level of experience, and preferences, it’s important to go for one that offers the best bang for the bucks. Talking about value, we think that the only way to determine how valuable a charting tool is by checking things like:
- Drawing tools
- Customer support
Pricing and Mobile-friendlinessSo, keeping those top factors in mind, which one is better between the two services? Here are our two cents. But first, let’s introduce the main rivals.
This is a charting platform owned by the Worden Brothers. Their software is downloadable although it’s only compatible with the Windows OS. Besides that, you can access the charts through a free mobile app.
On top of that, this company provides you with a simulator. This is a perfect place to put your strategies to good use without necessarily risking real cash.
One thing we noticed about their charts is that they come with a wide array of fundamental and technical analysis tools. They also boast some rich graphics.
The company has been around since 1997 and for the last two decades, they’ve been decorated with all manner of accolades. These range from ones from Bulls on Wall Street, The Traders’ Magazine, Liberated Stock Trader to the Warrior Trading platform.
Here’s probably one of the oldest charting platforms that provide access to stocks, futures, options, and forex. They are known for two things – the ability to remain adaptive and an awesome customer support track-record.
What’s more, unlike TC which is a standalone brokerage firm, its rival is just a charting platform. But that doesn’t mean that they are the inferior ones. In fact, their system has been specially coded to provide you with access to over 50 brokerage firms.
This provides you with the freedom you need to choose a broker based on your preferences.
In general, we like how flexible and customizable their charts are. We also love the fact that they provide lots of drawing tools, history, and extended time frames. We’re, however, concerned about their hefty subscription and exchange fees.
With all those factors in mind, we’d now like to delve deeper into the specific differences setting these two awesome services apart.
TC2000 is available in three plans. The most basic plan, silver, goes for $9.99 per month. You’ll also find the gold plan which goes for $29.99 per month and platinum which is priced at $89.98 per month.
Of course, in addition to the total cost of the platform, you’ll need to part with an extra $15 to access real-time data from the stocks markets. So, it’s safe to say that the least you can expect to pay under TC is $25 in total.
Under eSignal, on the other hand, you’ll find plans starting from as low as $50 – that being the classic package. The signature package, which is the second upper tier, goes for $160 while the Elite tier retails for $325 per month.
Apart from those charges, you’d need to pay $30 per month to access a real-time feed from the stocks markets. So, the cheapest you’d expect to pay to access this service is $80.
Oh, and one more thing, there’s a one-time activation fee of $25. So the gross total amount of cash you need to sign up is $105.
Clearly, it’s much more expensive to sign up and subscribe to eSignal than TC2000. But are the extra bucks worth parting with? Stick around to find out.
Access to Markets
TC limits you to the stocks markets, unlike its opponent which is designed to enable you access options, futures, and forex in addition to stocks. However, there is a price to be paid for that. You have to pay an additional fee to eSignal to access those.
For now, that isn’t possible with TC and so, if you’re looking for flexibility, chances are that you’ll prefer to settle for their arch nemesis.
At the same time, it’s important to note that TC is more than just a charting platform. It’s a brokerage platform as well but its competitor isn’t.
Chart Trading History
History matters a lot to every trader especially when backtesting is involved. Fortunately, both charting platforms provide you with a dynamic access to historical data. And while the two seem to have done a good job so far, it’s eSignal which seems to have an upper hand.
This platform provides you with access to over 6 months of intraday trading history on the 5 minute time frame. What’s more? You also get the option to pay up for up to 1 year of history.
TC2000, on its part, provides you with a maximum of 5 days of trading history. That can be quite limiting especially if you’re looking for a platform that helps you dig deeper.
With TC2000 you have the flexibility to code your own personal criteria formulas, combine conditions and so forth. In our view, these are reasonable customization features unless you’re a software guru and would like to do quite a lot of behind the scenes coding.
As opposed to TC, eSignal provides you with a wider array of customization options. So, if you’re looking for a platform that enables you to do quite a bit of advanced coding, this should be your go-to charting platform.
If anything, they have a sort of a program that resembles an app store with lots of features that you can download and use. So, in our view, eSignal is much more flexible as far as customizability is concerned. But that really doesn’t matter unless you plan to delve deeper into coding.
It’s no longer realistic to assume that a trader will spend the whole day sitting in front of their computer. The world is fast-advancing and this creates the need to track the charts even when one is on the move. And this is where mobile apps come in handy.
Unfortunately, owing to the pressure to create apps, companies like TC and its competitor seem to have rushed to have their apps built. Their apps work but they certainly seem quite basic especially compared to some of the industry-leading apps like the TD-Ameritrade ThinkorSwim mobile app.
That said, if you’re looking for a basic, free app that helps you keep your fingers on the market pulse, the options offered by TC2000 and eSignal would suffice. If anything, they’re available free of charge.
They’re also quite functional although significantly limited compared to their desktop software alternatives. Note: Their downloadable software (for both rivals) runs on Windows PCs only and not on Macs.
In our view, as far as the mobile apps metric is concerned, it’s a tie. Both companies still have work to do to meet our expectations as far as mobile usability is concerned.
What’s the use of a charting platform if doesn’t provide you with the freedom to draw all manner of things on it? Luckily, both platforms provide you with a wide array of drawing tools.
TC2000, in particular, boasts dozens of drawing tools which are easily accessible from the right sidebar. So, whether you want to draw some Fibonacci retracements or simply customize the colors and values of your charts TC2000 would be a perfect bet for you.
Compared to eSignal, TC2000 drawing tools are quite limited (more on that in a few).
eSignal comes with a bunch of drawing tools just like the Worden Brothers owned company but the difference is that the former provides you with additional customization options. For instance, in TC2000, you are only allowed to create infinitely extending price lines but in eSignal, you have the freedom to customize those lines so they either extend leftwards, rightwards or infinitely.
So, clearly, even though both systems come with lots of drawing tools, it’s eSignal that provides you with more freedom to play around with the options.
This may seem like a tiny issue to some and that’s because unless you’re quite picky, you’re not even likely to go looking for the charting platform with the most time frames at, maybe, the expense of functionality.
But even with that said, it’s important to note that eSignal provides you with more timeframes than TC2000. With the latter, you get timeframes ranging from 1 minute to yearly charts. Whereas on former, you get timeframes from 1 second to yearly.
Yup, you read that right. It’s possible to load a 1-second time frame chart on eSignal but the same is not possible with their competitor’s system. So, if you’re looking for some really fast moving charts and would like to get a better feel of how the markets are at any given second we’d recommend eSignal.
While at it, it’s important to remember that the 5-minute time-frame is the most popular option for traders. And both systems have this.
Neither of the two service providers is perfect. eSignal offers a few more advantages than TC2000 but comes at a greater cost. So, if you’re looking for a platform that provides you with all the essentials, at a competitive price, we’d recommend going for the latter.
Looking for a no-nonsense platform that provides you with unlimited charting potential? Well, if you can afford the extra bucks it costs to get eSignal, go for it.