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I've been playing around with some stock broker simulators lately which inspired me to start a small project for fun for myself. It's a small website I'm going to program where I use real-time stock data to do some analytics, just for fun.

This made me wonder where for example online stock brokers get their real-time updated prices from. Take for example Plus500, each second they give an updated price of a stock price. My question is, where do brokers like Plus500 get their real-time data from? Take for example the Yahoo Finance section. How does Yahoo get all this information? Or the same for Google, if you punch in Google "AAPL Stock Price" you instantly get a graph which gets updated constantly. How do these online brokers or Google or Yahoo or other online platforms get this data from to begin with? I mean, eventually there must be some "root" source where they get this information. Would anything like that be accessible for "normal people", like me to use in my project? Right now I'm using the Yahoo Finance API but the same here, this also must have some root source in the first place. What is that source that the big websites use?

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Generally Google gets their data,

directly from the exchanges (Nasdaq, NYSE). This is really expensive -- tens of thousands of dollars a month just for the license from the exchange, and lots of telecom costs on top of that.

  • Guess I've been using the wrong words when I was searching on Quora myself because I couldn't find anything! Anyways, thanks for the answer! – Markinson Apr 16 '17 at 20:36
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As another answer started, this information comes straight from an exchange and generally costs a fortune . . . However things change:

IEX, a new exchange, recently opened and they are offering real time bid/ask data for free.

Here's the API description: https://www.iextrading.com/developer/

This data should be good for active securities, but for securities less actively traded the numbers might be stale.

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    It is free if you are a licensed and registered entity: "US-registered broker dealers are eligible to become a Member of Investors Exchange. Broker-dealers must be registered with a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) and maintain an active clearing relationship with an NSCC-member clearing firm." So no different than how it is already, just a different company trying to re-imagine it or do it their way (nothing wrong with that, I find it nice) but doesn't mean they are available to everyone. – GµårÐïåñ Apr 18 '17 at 23:59
  • It is free if you are a licensed and registered entity: "US-registered broker dealers are eligible to become a Member of Investors Exchange. Broker-dealers must be registered with a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) and maintain an active clearing relationship with an NSCC-member clearing firm.". You are reading it wrong. That's for trading on the exchange. If you just want to access the data, it's free. Read the developers agreement. If you redistribute the data, you just need to acknowledge the source. – Jim Brody Apr 23 '17 at 3:06

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