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Using data from our forex broker comparison tool , here's a comparison of the MetaTrader platforms offered by the best MT4 brokers. The MetaTrader suite, which is licensed by brokers and offered to traders, is one of the most widely-used trading platforms for retail forex and CFDs trading globally.
MetaQuotes Software does not release any figures that reveal the number of brokers that use MT4. That being said, our research found that there are at least 3, counted on mobile MetaTrader 4 MT4 servers, and an even larger number of MetaTrader 5 MT5 servers globally. The number of actual brokers will be fewer than the number of servers, as many brokers will offer multiple servers in order to cater to different groups of clients and across various locations.
For example, a given broker may maintain one server in London and another in Australia, or a different server for each of their account types. IC Markets alone has dozens of servers, and it's no surprise they are the largest MetaTrader broker by volume in We spent three months testing 39 different forex and CFDs brokers, then compiled a list of the best MetaTrader 4 brokers. Our top pick for , IC Markets , offers the full MetaTrader suite alongside competitive pricing, add-on trading tools, and quality market research.
Once you decide on a broker you want to use for MT4, you simply open and fund a brokerage account, and you can start trading forex and CFDs. Alternatively, most brokers offer demo accounts so you can use virtual funds to practice trading before funding with real money. MetaTrader 4 is based on a prior generation version of software, whereas MetaTrader 5 is the latest version. In addition to CFDs and forex trading, MT5 can support stock trading and futures trading, making it more of a multi-asset platform.
MT5 includes advanced functions like utilizing cloud storage to run strategies and to conduct backtesting. While it looks and feels similar to MT4, MT5 is a faster, more modern trading platform. And though MT4 is still more widely used, the number of MT5 servers recently surpassed the number of MT4 servers globally it took only a decade.
This is mainly because more MT4-only brokers continue to launch MT5, offering the full MetaTrader suite, in addition to increasing the range of trading products available on MT5. MetaTrader 4 is completely free to use, whether you have a demo or live account. That said, you can still incur trading costs charged by your broker or market-maker in the form of spreads and commissions when you buy or sell securities such as forex and CFDs.
It can also cost money to hold trades overnight — known as carry charges or overnight rollover premiums — depending on the live account type you have Sharia-compliant accounts are usually interest-free, but may incur other costs. The MT4 platform developer never charges you any commissions, but brokers can charge you commissions and spread fees from within the MT4 or MT5 platforms, depending entirely on the account type you open — which varies by broker.
Forex brokers may offer the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms for free, but will still charge fees for trading regardless of the platform you choose. Whether your broker will charge you a commission, spread, or a combination of such trading costs depends entirely on the broker and its account offering. Both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 provide an easy-to-navigate layout, with customizable templates that can control the appearance of default charts.
While the numbers may vary, you'll generally find a few dozen different charting tools and technical indicators, providing traders with a good starting point for performing basic technical analysis. Traders can also save all their charts within their profile, so the entire workspace is backed up — including all trend lines and chart configurations.
There is a web-based version of MT4 and MT5 available, though these are not offered by all brokers. It's important to note that the web version does not support automated trading. The signals market available on the MQL5 Community enables users to copy the live trades of approved signal providers. Also known as social copy trading, each signal provider charges a different subscription fee for access.
An EA will either be a modifiable copy of the original. MQ4 file that contains the source code, or it will be an. EX4 executable file of the same code, which cannot be modified or tampered with. The latter is often chosen by those who want to distribute their strategies without revealing their source code. Today, MT4 and MT5 have extensive documentation, codebase, and articles to help developers create algorithmic trading systems. The proprietary MQL language supports custom scripts, utilities, libraries, indicators, and automated trading strategies known as Expert Advisors EAs.
The MetaTrader developer ecosystem continues to evolve each year. Backtesting, or using historical data to assess how a strategy would have performed in the past, is an important part of assessing the quality of any automated trading system. With MT4 and MT5, backtesting enables traders to see how an EA would have performed over a historical period of time for a requested instrument like a currency pair, for example.
When an EA is built and then tested on historical data for the first time, this is known as testing on out-of-sample data, which means the EA has never used these historical prices in which case the result will not have the benefit of hindsight.
While backtesting is used by traders, it is also used by the signal creators too. Some developers may optimize their strategies over a historical data set i. While there can be some benefits to optimizing a strategy using historical data, results of a curve-fitted strategy can be misleading as only the best trades are cherry-picked, and the results of forward-testing the same strategy can be significantly different. Therefore, forward-testing a strategy can be even more important than backtesting it, before the value of results can be assessed.
Experts, which are automated trading systems in MT4 and MT5, are built by traders and rely on backtesting to prove their profitability. As the famous market adage says, "past performance is not indicative of future results. The reality is that very few trading systems are profitable over the course of an entire year.
Therefore, while there can be pros to using an automated strategy, traders must be aware of the pitfalls and know how to assess any strategy before using it to manage their investment capital. The best MetaTrader 4 brokers in are based on our assessment of the retail forex industry conducted during our 6th annual review of the best online forex brokers.
IC Markets is our top pick for best MT4 broker overall in It executes more trading volume than any other MetaTrader broker each month and offers the full MetaTrader suite alongside competitive pricing, add-on trading tools, and quality market research.
The MetaTrader 4 MT4 platform is predominantly used for forex trading. However, depending on the broker, MT4 often comes with a range of other symbols — such as CFDs on indices, commodities, futures, energies, and metals. Experts are not humans. Rather, they are the automated trading systems created by traders to execute a trading strategy. When selecting a MetaTrader broker, traders should consider the trustworthiness of the broker where and how it is regulated , the number of tradeable securities offered, pricing, customer service quality, and any available add-ons offered beyond the default MetaTrader experience.
All in all, MetaQuotes has proven itself to be a trusted leader in developing forex and multi-asset trading platforms for online forex brokers and retail traders globally. To sign up for a live forex account or demo trading account with a MetaTrader broker that offers MT4 or MT5, see our list of reviewed brokers above to choose a broker that best suits your overall trading needs.
In addition to our top seven brokers for MetaTrader, here are the Overall rankings for all 39 online brokers who participated in our Annual Review, sorted by Overall ranking. For our Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 39 international forex brokers over a three-month time period resulting in over 50, words of published research. Each broker was graded on different variables, including our proprietary Trust Score algorithm.
This innovative scoring system ranks the level of trustworthiness for each broker based on factors such as licenses, regulation and corporate structure. Read more about Trust Score here. As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy. Read more on FP Markets. Read more on AvaTrade.
Read more on BlackBull Markets. Read more on OctaFX. How we rank our brokers. Best all-around broker with high floating leverage and fast execution. FXTM gives clients a choice of an account with spreads starting at 0 pips plus a commission or an account with a minimum 1.
Their floating leverage system means leverage can reach as high as FXTM has independently audited monthly execution speed and slippage statistics published on their website. According to the published data, most FXTM clients receive improved pricing through positive slippage, and the broker offers some of the fastest execution in the industry. FXTM stores client funds in segregated accounts separate from their operations.
Cons Limited choice of cryptocurrencies and commodities. FP Markets. ECN trading with leverage up to Both account types require a small minimum deposit of AUD or currency equivalent. Maximum available leverage is FP Markets is regulated in Australia and Cyprus. It stores client funds in segregated accounts separate from their operations.
Pros Choice of trading platforms and auxiliary trading tools Very competitive cost structure and excellent asset selection Low minimum deposit requirement and leverage of up to Well-regulated and trustworthy. Cons Availability of Iress geographically restricted. Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads. AvaTrade is a market maker and only charges spreads, not commissions. Uniquely, they also make available a Mac version of MetaTrader. AvaTrade is regulated in several countries, including tier 1 jurisdictions.
Pros High-quality educational offering via SharpTrader Excellent choice of trading platforms catering to various trading needs Broad asset selection and cross-asset diversification opportunities Well-regulated and trusted broker with oversight from a central bank.