When starting Forex trading every beginner has the same question what is the best Forex trading platform for beginners? With this article, I will explain what makes a platform really good especially for the beginner traders or otherwise, what are the best platforms available on the Forex market today, what are their advantages and disadvantages.
As Forex trading happens online via a digital trading platform, choosing the right one is very important. Today there are a lot of Forex trading platforms, some of them are provided by companies that specialize in developing them. The choice is very hard to make as the Forex trading platforms list is really long. In this article, I will not talk about the custom made platforms by the brokers but will concentrate on the pre-developed ones, made by external companies.
MetaTrader is a software designed by the MetaQuotes corporation. The company appeared in 2000 when retail trading was getting more and more popular and there was a need for reliable third party software. The company designed and released several trading platforms in two years. However, it was in 2002 when they started getting popular as they released MetaTrader. Currently, there are two versions of MetaTrader, MT4, and MT5.
MetaTrader 4 trading platform was released in 2002, soon after it, many leading brokers started adopting the platform and offering it to their customers, with this, the popularity of MT4 was inevitable. You will see MetaTrader 4 with almost all large brokerages worldwide, which emphasizes the reliability of the trading platform. It comes with features like:
- 1-click trading
- Availability of the numerous expert advisors
- Pending orders
- About 50 in-built indicators
- Nine time-frames
- Multi charting
- Limit orders
These features truly make MT4 one of the best trading software, in addition, it has some other important advantages
- Stability – First and foremost, the platform is time-tested, it is reliable and very stable, meaning that users of MT4 will not have any kind of technical problems that might be connected to the software.
- Availability – as I have mentioned almost all of the large brokers offer MT4, meaning that if you enjoy the platform but do not like the broker you can change it, but still use the same trading platform with others. If you start trading with a broker that offers custom platforms, you will have to get used to a new one when you switch.
- Simplicity – it has a very user-friendly and simple design that makes it one of the best Forex trading platforms for beginners.
- Accessibility – on MT4 you can trade several instruments including cryptocurrencies and indices.
- Compatibility – traders today want to have access to their trading accounts whenever and however they want. MT4 is compatible with all kinds of devices. You can download it on Windows, IOS and Linux, you can use MT4 mobile apps for Android and IOS.
MetaTrader 4 does not really have any major disadvantages that would change your mind if you have decided to choose it as your Forex Trading platform. Some traders that are using MT4 are arguing that the platform is a bit slower than others. However, it does not seem to be too much of a hindering factor, although the speed and fast execution are very important in Forex trading, especially when trading with the instruments that have high volatility. The fact that MT4 has a lot of users means that the problem is not a major one.
MetaTrader 5 trading platform is also created by MetaQuotes and is the latest version of the trading platforms that are available on the Forex trading market. MT5 is also adopted by a large number of the Forex brokers, many of them are offering MT4 as well as MT5. MetaTrader 5 is often mentioned as the updated version of MT4. There is not a revolutionary difference between these two platforms, however, MT5 comes with the additional features that make it more demandable.
Since MT4 and MT5 are very similar and share the same advantages I will not review it as I did MT4, instead,I will try to show you what are the differences and how can you decide between these two platforms.
- MT5 comes with the wider choice of trading instruments. You have the possibility to trade Forex, futures, CFDs, stocks, and cryptocurrencies on MT5. This is brokers who are offering all of these instruments, recommend MT5
- MT5 is faster than MT4, so those who enjoy MetaTrader but consider MT4 slow can switch to MetaTrader 5
- MT5 has some additional features such as 21 time-charts, up to 100 charts and 80 indicators that include, volume and volatility indicators, buy and sell signal indicators, pivot point indicators, and time zone indicators.
MetaTrader 5 trading platform has several disadvantages, compared to MT4 it is considered to be less user-friendly. MT4 is available with more Forex brokers than MT5 is, however, it is expected that more and more brokers will have MT5 readily available soon. Last but not least, MT5 does not allow rollover and hedging, however, both of them are available with MetaTrader 4.
To sum up the advantages and disadvantages of MetaTrader trading platforms, I can say that MT4 is sufficient for someone trading Forex, therefore not many people decided to switch to MT5. The user-friendliness and simplicity of MT4 make it one of the best Forex trading platforms for beginners. On the other hand, MT5 is more for sophisticated traders who prefer in-depth analytical tools and who trade with several trading instruments.
While cTrader cannot be considered as a competitor of MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, it was the first trading platform that challenged MetaTrader. The cTrader Forex trading platform was designed and released in 2011. Usually, when the traders are reviewing cTrader, they tend to compare it to MT4.
Here are some of the highlights of cTrader
- Design. Many traders mention that cTrader has one of the best designs as it is very clean and modern. Hence you can be concentrated so that nothing unnecessary catches your attention. Moreover, after the update, it is possible for you to customize how your cTrader looks.
- Easy to access – cTrader allows a trader to have one password for all accounts, meaning that you do not need to have separate accounts, for example for live and demo trading, instead you can easily switch between them.
- cTrader has a very fast order execution time that is enjoyed by traders of all kinds.
- Just like MT4, cTrader is also available on almost all devices you might want to trade with.
- cTrader has options for automated trading and copy trading, not all of the traders use these kinds of trading options though. However, some beginner traders try it before they get confident enough to trade solely by themselves. Therefore cTrader can be one of the best platforms for beginner traders who are ready to try automated or copy trading.
As for the disadvantages, cTrader is not offered by as many brokers as MetaTrader. Therefore it might be hard for you to switch if you want to change the broker you are trading with.
Other trading platforms you might see
While searching for Forex brokers you might see that some of them are offering trading platforms that are not mentioned above. As I have mentioned, these kinds of platforms are custom made by the brokerage itself. The list of Forex trading platforms that are custom made is huge, therefore it is impossible to review the features, advantages, and disadvantages of them, however, I can tell you the general pros and cons of the custom made platforms.
Advantages of custom made platforms
The best advantage I can think of in favor of the custom Forex trading platform is that the broker can customize it in a way that it is the best for its customers. To say it differently the broker can develop a software that answers the demands and needs of its customers and that is specially designed to trade with the instruments that the broker offers. Due to this reason, custom platforms are lighter and faster. However, as a beginner trader, I would be very careful with the custom made trading platforms and accept it only from brokers that have steel solid reputation, years of experience and an army of loyal customers that are satisfied with the service.
Disadvantages of custom made platforms
These kinds of trading platforms come with several disadvantages you need to consider especially when you are searching for the best Forex trading platform for beginner traders.
- It is limited to one broker only. If you start trading with a particular broker and use its custom made trading platform you won’t be able to use it with other brokerages
- Usually, custom made platforms are not advanced enough to be used on other devices and only offer WebTrader.
- Some small brokerages also use such platforms. As they are not very well established they usually use cheap ones, which means that it will have a bunch of technical issues that will interrupt your trades.
- Scam brokers can modify the trading platform in favor of their profits, hence, they are not very reliable.
How to choose the best Forex trading software for beginners
As you can see you have a lot of options and it is absolutely up to you to decide which trading platform you choose. To choose the right one for your trades you need to make up your mind on which tools are necessary and important for you. For example, you might choose one just because it offers the most tools and trading instruments when in reality you might only trade with one instrument and use only several tools. Therefore choose the platform which answers your needs most. Also, I would advise choosing the software that is compatible with all the devices you might be using and that also has the mobile version. Needless to say, the software should be reliable and tested.
As my last words on this topic, I would advise going for the most commonly used ones such as MetaTrader and cTrader. It is most common with established brokerages, and you’d be able to find it anywhere. Furthermore, they are quite easy to use.