Forex Trading Platforms – Forex News by FX Leaders – FX Leaders

Many people are now familiar with online trading and in fact millions are trading themselves. Forex trading has moved online and is done through electronic trading platforms, which come in many shapes and forms.Besides finding a good broker, forex traders have to find a good trading platform as well, which is not that straightforward, especially since the competition has incentivized many providers of trading platforms to come up with many innovations and upgrade them continuously. 

So, while a lot of features are similar, everyone has their own special ones developed for PC, Web trading or Mobile platforms, which make their forex platforms different. This is a good thing, since there are many traders with different needs out there. Many brokers have their own built in platforms which they have developed, but there also quite a few white label platforms, like cTrader or Ninja Trader which many brokers offer. Although, a large part of the white label market share is taken by MetaQuotes Corporation, with its MetaTrader4 and MetaTrader5 platforms. In this article, we will introduce some of these trading platforms and take a look at pros and cons of both types of them.   

Top 5 Trading Platforms 

MetaTrader4 MT4

Everyone knows the MetaTrader4 platform by now. That was the main major breakthrough for the MetaQuotes Corporation, introduced in early 2000s and is the most famous trading platform. The MT4 is like the Facebook of forex platforms. It is pretty easy to use and has a friendly interface. The MT4 used to be the most reliable third party forex platform for online retail trading for a long time. The MT4 set the bar for everyone in the business, basically offering all tools and features that a basic trader needs to analyze markets and trade, such as one-click trading, exposure, account history, news, alerts, mailbox, market, forex signals, expert advisors, journal, etc.

MT4 introduced some new orders in the industry

Features Pros Cons
Multiple accounts
Automated trading
Expert advisers
Multi charting
9 time-frames
Pending orders
Limit/Stop orders
Phone alerts
Over 50 chart indicators
Running simultaneous MT4 platforms
Hedging only on MT4
Easy to understand
Low PC resources
Multiple accounts
Accepted in many PC systems
Automated trading
Easy to use indicators
MQL4 trading
Trading level alerts
Execution time varies
No customized time-frame charts
Historical data not always accurate
No high frequency trading

 

MetaTrader5 MT5

 

MetaTrader5 platform was the next best thing that the MetaQuotes Software introduced to the online trading community. The community was already used to its previous MT4 trading platform, so the MT5 was in demand right away with forex traders. It brought quite a few new features with the MT5. While the MT5 was specifically designed for forex trading, the MT5 was designed to provide traders with access to CFDs, stocks and futures. The interface is similar to that of the MT4, which is a good thing, since traders don’t like to change too much from one platform to another and it has many more time-frames than the MT4, apart from services and other advantages. Two more types of orders were added to the MT5, with Buy Stop-Limit and Sell Stop-Limit on top of the four types of orders already present in MT4.

  

Remote trading is easy on the MT5 mobile platform

Features Pros Cons
Market statistics on various financial instruments
Increased number of timeframe charts
Customed financial instruments
6 different types of orders
Economic calendar
MQL5 programming language
Hedging by request and netting
Unlimited number of charts
Netting allowed 
38 built-in technical indicators
Buy stop-limit and sell stop-limit
Depth of Market DOP liquidity
Economic calendar
Compatible with PC/smartphone systems
Partial order filling 21 time-frames
Complicated due to advanced tools
Purchase required for all
Hedging only by request
Most MT4 EAs not importable

Ninja Trader

The Ninja Trader platform has been one of the rivals of the MetaTrader platforms during the last 15 years. Ninja Trader was developed in 2003 and since conception it was intended to rival the MT4 trading platform, since it offered stock and futures trading, besides just forex like the MT4. If you have a funded account, the NinjaTrader platform is free to use for charting, market analysis, and live trading, while the SIM version is free even if you don’t have a funded account. Traders with high activity of trading finds the Ninja Trader platform quite handy to use due to its great charting features, innumerable applications from third-party developers, also for the brokerage it offers as well.

 

Ninja Trader has some advanced charting 

Features Pros Cons
Great charting with great tools
Partial and full automation
Simulation and back-testing available
Easier to build trading apps
Many third-party trading apps
Great learning guidance for the platform
Trading directly from charts
Amazing charting
Chart trader order entry tool
Thousands of trading apps
Platform guides, video library
Free daily webinars
Depth of Market DOP liquidity
Very fast to submit and manage SL and TP orders
One cancels the other orders OCO
Free basic demo platform
Limited news research
Payment for premium features
No supported brokers for equity and crypto
Not own smartphone platform
Data feed not included 
 

ProTrader

 

The Protrader platform is another powerful and advanced trading platform in the forex industry, as well as another rival for the MT4. This platform was introduced in 2003, making it one of the oldest platforms for retail traders with a handful others, by PFSOFT, a Ukrainian company of trading and IT experts. The aim when it was designed, was to create a cutting edge platform for online retail forex traders, which would offer them access to most major markets, such as forex, commodities, options market, stock markets etc. The Protrader platform is already quite user friendly, but it also allows traders to rearrange the platform as they wish, which means that it is fully customizable. Speaking of customizing platforms, Protrader allows you to execute several trades at once, which is good for news trading, as well as placing limit orders direct from the chart. This platform is also quite hospitable to thousands of third party EAs and trading programmes, as well as offering depth of market tools too.

 

ProTrader has some nice scalping features

Features Pros Cons
Powerful and friendly interface and charting
Fully customizable platform
AlgoStudio for programming purposes and back-testing of algorithmic strategies
One-click chart pending limit orders available
Basket trading for multiple trade execution
Scalper’s panel for quick trading
Option’s Master for options
Friendly interface design
Basket trading
Great for scalping
Fully adjustable terminal
Beginner and professional workspaces
Chart pending orders Options Master
Limited order types
Small charting area  

cTrader

 

The cTrader platform was introduced in 2010 by Spotware, which raised the standards of the online trading industry. The cTraders was designed to be used by ECN brokers, with several top names already using this trading platform, so it is a desirable platform for those traders who like trading directly through an ECN. The main functions of the platform are two, charting and trade execution. Therefore, cTrader charting and interface is very clean and it is very easy to use because of its simple UI. Besides, traders are issued with tickets containing all the details and there is a map option available to analyze all the trade performance as a whole, for individual pairs, for a certain time and so on. cTrader has the Open API for traders to build their own trading programmes. cTrader is used by several well known brokers, such as Alpari

 

cTrader has numerous technical indicators such as volumes 

Features Pros Cons
Electronic communications network platform
Reliable and fast execution
The spreads are very low and go to 0 pips in liquid times
Available to follow other traders
Price feed from many feed providers
Platforms for Windows, Web, Mobile
Over 60 Indicators
Alerts Trade tickets with all the details
Map analysis of performance
Multiple source pricing
Very low spreads
Advanced order types
Fast entry and execution
cTrader Copy
Not fully customizable
Low number of EA and custom indicators
Use of C# language instead of MQL  
6 Top Broker Platforms  

eToro

 

As forex trading became increasingly popular, social trading also became popular. eToro which was founded in 2007 is one of the first brokers to introduce social trading en masse. In fact, that’s what eToro is most famous for. There is a large number of eToro traders which form a vibrant community. The eToro platform offers this feature with great efficiency and also offers the translate option for traders of many countries. Although, the best feature of the eToro platform is the eToro CopyTrader which evaluates top traders according to a smart performance analysis, carried out by algorithms evaluating leverage, exposure, number of trades open, volatility of traded assets etc. Traders can also have ready made portfolios, which is another great feature. Portfolios can either be for Market Portfolios for certain CFDs and Stocks based on algo strategies, or Top Trader Portfolios, where anyone on eToro can follow a number of top traders with the best performance score. If you are an experienced trader, you can also offer your services for a fee for other traders to copy your trades. 

 

eToro is most famous for its social trading network and features

 

Features Pros Cons
Social trading platform for traders to evaluate their trade ideas
eToro TradeCopier allows traders to copy top traders
2 Types of copy portfolios: market portfolios and Top Trader portfolios 
Fast account opening process
Fully digitalized opening process
The demo account stays active for unlimited strategy testing and practicing time
$5 withdrawal fee and $10 inactivity fee after 1 year
$200 minimum account deposit
Low CFD spreads
Covers forex, CFDs and cryptocurrency markets
Back-testing and forex strategy optimization 
Non-expiring demo account
Vibrant trading community
Low withdrawal and inactivity fees
Social trading
Trade copier
Two types of copy portfolios
High quality education
Trading instrument sentiment indicator
 
Limited stop-loss functions for cryptos
One base currency, the USD
No news streaming
Partially customized platform
No streaming news
Inactivity fee
 

 

IG

 

The IG Group is a London based financial firm, founded in 1974. The broker is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K. and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in Australia, which makes it quite safe. They also offer a wide range of financial markets to trade, which we cover in an exclusive article about IG, from forex to options, futures, commodities, cryptocurrencies, indices and bonds. But, besides that, they also offer a number of trading platforms to chose, from the usual third party platforms such as the MT4, the we based platform which is their main trading one, the mobile application, the IG Markets L2 Dealer, which is mainly designed for stock traders and the IG ProReal Time, which includes more than 100 indicators, but comes with a fee, which is refundable if you trade enough each month. IG has also introduced a new feature, the IG Smart Portfolio, which is an EA advisory service for traders to select among automatically managed low-cost portfolios. 

 IG offers a wide range of markets and instruments

Features Pros Cons
A very wide range of markets covered
Alerts to trigger when a market moves an amount, hits a price level or meets your technical conditions
Risk mitigation to protect accounts, including guaranteed stops for watertight protection.
Unlimited access to Thomson Reuters’ news streaming service
Virtual private server to install algorithms that automate trading
Over 15,000 financial instruments to trade
IG Smart Portfolio managed automatically
Indicators appear only when you tap on IG Mobile App
Guaranteed stop losses
Interbank ECN
IG Smart Portfolio
Easy to access web platform
1,000+ indicators for IG ProReal
Multi-source price feed
Dormant account fees
No interbank for forex
No social/copy trading
Management fees + % fees for Smart Portfolio
 

 

Oanda Trade

 

Oanda is one of the most famous brokers in the retail forex industry. Apart from the MT4 platform, Oanda offers its own trading platforms, the Oanda Trade Web, desktop and mobile application. In comparison to the MT4, the Oanda Trade platform is more modern looking. The coloring is less retro, the chart placement is better, as well as the layout of chart indicators. Charts are provided by TradingView, while the feed is provided by 25 central banks, which makes it an ECN broker. The desktop platform is fully customizable and it also offers sophisticated trader analysis, as well as offering a wide range of financial instruments. 

 

 Oanda offers a number of different chart layouts

Features Pros Cons
More than 10 types of charts + chart layouts
Fully personalized chart layouts
Ability to drag charts to different screens
50+ drawing tools
Very low spreads during liquid times
Sophisticated trade analysis
Updated market analysis
GSLOs guarantee to exit trades
Interbank ECN
No minimum deposit requirement
Up-to-minute news
Economic calendar
Multi-source price feed
Updated market analysis
Many educational videos and webinars
$0 minimum deposit 
Wider spread during illiquid times
Fees when GDLOs are triggered
Inactivity charges
Only forex and CFDs
No price alerts
$5/lot forex commission 

 

Dukascopy 

 

Dukascopy is another reputable name in the trading industry. Dukascopy is a Swiss regulated bank, which offers broker services as well, and some of the best services in our opinion. Apart from being a safe broker to do business with , it offers its own trading platform JForex, which provided access to the SWFX – Swiss FX Marketplace, which is a technological solution for trading, using a unique centralized-decentralized marketplace model. Dukascopy offers a wide range of markets to trade and a wide range of orders, such as market order, limit order, stop, take profit, stop loss, stop limit, trailing stop, place bid/offer, OCO, IFD etc. Besides that, Dukascopy platform offers the option to control the slippage when opening a trade. So, Dukascopy is an all-rounded broker.

 

 The Dukascopy platform is world class

Features Pros Cons
A very wide range of markets covered
Rich and advanced platform
More than 250 indicators to use
Many unusual orders types, such as stop limit, place bid/offer, OCO, IFD
Slippage control option to control maximum price slippage on execution
Platform inbuilt plug-in customer support
Multi-language interface for JForex Platform
News and economic calendar
Managed account option by professional traders
A regulated bank broker
Interbank CCN
Slippage control function
Modern trading platform
PAMM accounts
Multi-source price feed
EsiSwisse deposit insurance scheme
Platform-built customer support
250+ trading indicators
Multi-language platform
High minimum deposit
High commissions
Restricted leverage
14 days only demo account
No US traders allowed
Limited funding options 

 

AvaTrade

 

AvaTrade is a forex broker regulated in Ireland among other countries, founded in 2006. Apart the MT4 and MT5 platforms, it also offers its own web trading platform, as well as the mobile AvaTradeGo platform. The web trading platform is quite simple to understand, use and trade, although it consumes PC resources. With AvaTrade platforms you get access to data on buy/sell positions from AvaTrade traders. The web platform, as well as the AvaTradeGo platform, have some interesting tools, indicators and features, one of which is the AvaProtect option, which you buy for a price. That’s a feature to protect your trades for a certain amount of time after you have opened it, with the option to renew it when the time purchased ends. But one of the downsides is that the product portfolio is limited as it offers only CFDs, forex, and cryptos, which is enough for many traders, but some traders might want access to more markets.

 

Ava WebTrader platform is really well designed

Features Pros Cons
An easy and fully digitalized process to open an account
No deposit and withdrawal fees
One stop shop register and deposit mobile platform
Price alerts on AvaTradeGo
AvaProtect option for safer trading
5 base currencies
Web platform friendly and well designed, but not customizable
$100 minimum deposit
AvaOptions platform within AvaTradeGo for Mobile
CFDs for cryptocurrencies
 
$0 withdrawal/deposit fees
Low CFD spreads
Easy account opening process
Easy to access web platform
AvaProtect order types
AvaTradeGo including AvaOptions
 
Limited number of trading instruments
Occasional crashes of AvaTradeGo platform
$50/quarter inactivity fees
Administration fees

FXCM

 

Forex Capital Market which is abbreviated into FXCM is another renowned online retail broker which started in 1999 and is based in UK, offering forex and CFDs. The account opening process is pretty straightforward with this broker and the quality of the education content is quite high. FXCM offers its own trading platform, the Trading Station, which is FXCM’s proprietary platform and available via desktop download, web or mobile device. The Web platforms is clean and fresh looking and the mobile is also pretty easy to use, but lacks advanced features. Although, the download version has some pretty good technical research tools.

 

FXCM offers lots of learning contents, such as video libraries, webinars, etc.

Features Pros Cons
Covers corex, CFDs and cryptocurrency markets
Educational content is of high quality
Fast account opening process
Fully digitalized opening process
Great technical research tools
No deposit/withdrawal fees and low trading costs
$50 charge for one year of inactivity
Low CFD spreads
Updated news and calendar section
Back-testing and forex strategy optimization
High number of orders, such as One-Cancel-Other (OCO), Good-Till-Date (GTD), Good-Till-Cancel (GTC), Immediate or Cancel (IOC) and Fill or Kill (FOK)
Guaranteed stop losses
HTML5 for MT5 EAs
Minimum deposit for non-EU clients at $50
Very low spreads on ActiveTrader
Key trading levels
Forex strategy optimization
High quality education
$50 dormant account fees
Low number of base currencies, 3 limited trading products
Mobile platform not user friendly
No price alerts 

How to Select the Best Forex Trading Platform for You 

Forex brokers come in many shapes and forms, with different offers and products, as do traders, which have different requirements. If you don’t know what type of broker you are, you should go through our broker choosing guide, in order to make it easier to pick a broker suitable for your needs.

Someone must first know themselves what type of trader they are, before choosing a broker or a platform. Traders who specialize on short term trading and scalping would be better off with an ECN broker which offers low spreads during liquid times, such as Oanda or brokers who offer the cTrader platform. Traders new in the business might want to go with brokers that provide high quality education such as FXCM.

Traders who trade overnight and want their positions protected while they’re asleep, might prefer AvaTrade for the AvaProtect option. Frequent traders should avoid brokers with high trading fees, but long term traders, such as professional ones which don’t mind such costs would happily pay for broker with a wide range of market and professional coverage such as Dukascopy. 

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