What is the Best Forex Trading Platform?
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This article will take a look at the best available choices in your search for an online Forex trading platform. We'll look at what actually makes a good trading platform, and how to choose the right platform for your trading style.
Forex trading (FX) is performed online via an electronic trading platform. Naturally, many traders are curious as to what the best trading platform software is. In fact, 'which Forex trading platform is the best?' is one of the main questions that a trader asks when beginning their Forex journey. This is especially true in current times, as there is a lot of competition in terms of software.
The trading software industry is heavily dominated by MetaQuotes Corp - the company behind MetaTrader 4 (MT4), which is the most popular software used by traders in the retail Forex market. Whilst MetaTrader 4 is the dominant choice for many professional traders, there are other options which have developed in recent years.
When it comes to trading FX online, most brokers will supply you with various trading platforms, yet MetaTrader platforms are the most common. This software was developed nearly ten years ago. There are two primary choices of the trading platform offered by MetaQuotes Corp - MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.
MetaTrader 4 is a Forex platform, which was specifically designed for FX trading. As retail Forex is a relatively new industry, it didn't have reliable third party software available until MetaTrader 4 appeared. This is a reliable trading platform that provides traders with lots of useful features, which include:
- 1-click trading
- Lots of available Expert Advisors
- Over 50 indicators
- Pending orders
- Limit orders
- Multi charting
- Nine different time-frames
Advantages of MetaTrader 4
These are just a few of the benefits of MetaTrader 4. One of its strongest selling points is its stability. You can really count on this platform. In addition to this, it is also supplied with a powerful set of mobile apps. These applications are available for nearly any type of operating system, including iOS, Android, and Windows. Needless to say, these mobile platforms are also very stable and powerful.
Disadvantages of MetaTrader 4
Occasionally you may find that some brokers offer wider spreads on the MT4 platform in comparison with the smaller spreads they may offer through their main trading platform (assuming that the broker in question offers several trading platforms to trade on.). Additionally, Some professional traders argue that the platform is slower in comparison with other trading platforms.
Source: MetaTrader 4 - Market Watch - Several different currency pairs opened in Mini Terminals
MetaTrader 4 Supreme Edition Add-On
Whilst MetaTrader 4 is quite a powerful platform in itself, Admiral Markets offers a plugin for it known as MetaTrader 4 Supreme Edition. It's a plugin that has over 50 additional tools for traders. Once you have downloaded your MT4 Forex trading platform, you will need to download Admiral Markets' MetaTrader 4 Supreme Edition and install this package over the original MetaTrader 4 installation.
This plugin significantly increases the advantages of MetaTrader 4 - and it also allows users access to a more flexible 1-click-trader, also known as the 'Mini-Terminal'. New orders, like OCA orders will become accessible and you will be even able to drag and drop your stop-losses and take-profits. Admiral Markets recognises the great advantages of MT4, and has developed this add-on to make it even better for its clients.
Quite similar to MetaTrader 4, this is one of the best Forex trading platforms. In general, MetaTrader 5 is slightly faster, supports more types of orders, comes with a larger amount of indicators and has some additional features. Whilst it is a better platform, there aren't any huge, revolutionary differences which can make MetaTrader 4 redundant. What is good about MetaTrader 5 for both traders and brokers is that it can handle a larger amount of trading instruments compared to MetaTrader 4.
Advantages of MetaTrader 5
While MetaTrader 5 is similar to MetaTrader 4 there are some distinct advantages that are simply not found in other forex trading platforms. For example, MetaTrader 5 has:
- 21 timeframes the trader can view. This includes 11 types of 'minute' charts (such as M1, M2, M3, etc), seven types of 'hourly' charts (such as H1, H2, H3, etc) as well as daily, weekly and monthly charts. Most platforms, such as MetaTrader 4 only come with nine timeframes.
- Six types of pending orders including buy-stop, sell-stop, buy-limit, sell-limit, buy-stop-limit and sell-stop-limit orders. MetaTrader 4 and other platforms typically offer the first four types of pending orders.
- The ability to switch between 'hedging' mode and 'netting' mode. Hedging mode allows the ability to take trades in opposing positions and has revolutionised the trading options for Forex traders.
- The Depth of Market (DOM) function which allows Forex traders to view the bids and offers at different prices of a financial instrument.
MetaTrader 5 Supreme Edition Add-On
While MetaTrader 5 is fully loaded with advanced trading features, making it one of the most powerful platforms available for Forex trading, Admiral Markets offers a plugin called MetaTrader 5 Supreme Edition which offers even more advanced trading tools. This includes:
- Inbuilt technical analysis insight and access to an award-winning technical analysis pattern recognition system from Trading Central.
- A mini-terminal function allowing traders to open and manage positions more effectively with integrated lot-size and margin calculator and smart order lines for partial closing and time-based stops.
- An inbuilt trading history analyser which allows traders to view detailed statistics of their trading performance to help optimise future trading decisions.
- Advanced trading indicators such as candle countdown, pivot points, renko charts and much more.
Once you have downloaded your MT5 Forex trading platform, you will need to download Admiral Markets' MetaTrader 5 Supreme Edition and install this package over the original MetaTrader 4 installation.
Other Trading Platforms
In recent years, Spotware has developed 'cTrader' as a competing trading platform for Forex traders. While the platform does offer advanced charting and trading features, similar to the MetaTrader platform there are some differences:
- As MetaTrader is one of the best known platforms for auto-trading it has a large online community that share new strategies and indicators. It also makes it much easier to find support on the internet for the MetaTrader platforms, whereas support may be limited for cTrader's auto-trading capabilities.
- cTrader does not allow the customisation of indicators and has limitations to using third party programmes whereas MetaTrader excel in the platform being fully customisable.
- MetaTrader comes packed with additional features such as an economic calendar, real time market news and 'signal trading' functionality whereas cTrader does not have any of these features.
As this platform is available in a web browser, there hasn't been a strong emphasis placed on the development of mobile apps until recent times. At the moment, cTrader is supplied for Android and iOS devices only. Whilst this probably does cover the majority of traders, it does hinder those using a Windows phone. MetaTrader 4 and 5 are certainly the best Forex trading platforms for mobile trading.
The NinjaTrader trading platform has been around since 2004 and is designed for active forex, futures and stock traders. While the platform offers advanced charting, automated strategy development and trade simulation, those who wish to execute trades from their platform must purchase a lifetime licence or lease the platform on a quarterly or annual basis.
One of the main reasons MetaTrader platforms are so popular and commonly used is the fact they are free to the trader via their broker. And, in some cases such as with Admiral Markets, advanced trading tools like the Supreme Edition plugin come at no additional cost.
Also, NinjaTrader acts primarily as the trading platform and is not a market data provider. This means in order to receive end-of-day or real-time market data, users need to connect their platform to one of the market data providers NinjaTrader operates with such as Google Finance or Kinetick.
The eSignal trading platform is geared towards advanced traders who enjoy fully customisable features. While the platform offers all the standard features expected of a modern trading platform, users can create their own trading strategies or market screeners through the coding language.
The platform offers advanced drawing tools such as time and price squares and Gann boxes, as well as the ability to view up to 500 symbols at one time. However, to access streaming and real-time data feeds, traders need to connect their platform with one of eSignal's supported brokers. This means users will have to lease the platform from eSignal for a monthly or annual fee.
The ProRealTime trading platform is a technical analysis software developed in France by IT-Finance. The platform is unique as it is a web-based software that is backed up on the company's cloud network. The platform itself offers a wide range of advanced charting and analytical tools, as well as, the ability to create customised market scanners and trading strategies using their ProRealCode language.
However, users must pay a software licence to use the platform. On top of this, there are additional fees to access real-time market data.
As you can see, there's a lot to consider when choosing the best Forex platform for beginners - but MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 frequently top the list for the best FX software. They are time tested, and have been proven to work over and over again.To download MetaTrader 5 for FREE, click the banner below!
This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.