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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. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than.
Learn more about how we test. There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses.
Read more on forex trading risks. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1, published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. FXCM clients can automate trading by either:. Beginners and seasoned traders alike can enjoy the benefits of copy trading with ZuluTrade on MT4.
When trading with City Index MetaTrader 4 clients gain access to over 80 foreign exchange markets. No choice of account types or ECN-style pricing is available, with all spreads commission-free, averaging 1.
To minimise losses and maximise gains, two key risk management features are offered by the broker — order types and a demo account. As a City Index MT4 user, four order types can be used to manage the high risk of trading. The three basic order types that are freely offered by City Index are stop-loss, limit and trailing stop orders.
A premium order type guaranteed stop loss is available, yet traders are required to pay a fee. Stop losses can be used to minimise losses when markets move in unfavourable directions. To eliminate the risk of large losses, traders can specify a price worse than the market price where the trade will be automatically closed. To lock in profits, limit orders automatically close trades when a preset price, that is better than the current price is met.
Similar to a standard stop loss, those using trailing stops specify a particular number of pips away from the current price, allowing the stop to move with the current market price. By trailing the current price by a certain amount, profits are protected while gains are not limited. For a small fee, premium order types provide guarantees that an order will be executed at the price you have specified.
While basic order types may potentially be executed at a different price to what the trader desires because of gapping, guaranteed stop-loss orders ensure an order will be filled at the price specified regardless of price gapping. Whether you are a beginner starting out with no forex trading background or a seasoned trader with years of experience, demo accounts are an excellent risk management tool for all levels of experience.
Before signing up to a live account that carries a high risk of losing money, demo accounts allow you to learn in a risk-free environment, in real-time conditions. As conducting research and technical analysis can be time-consuming, choosing a broker with strong technical analysis tools can help you easily stay up to date with forex and CFD markets. While MetaTrader 4 offers advanced inbuilt technical analysis tools, FxPro provides online and third-party resources that can save you time and effort when trading.
The four key analysis tools offered by FxPro are:. The third-party technical analysis provider uses multiple sources of information to monitor and analyse a range of financial instruments, saving you time and effort conducting research. Technical analysis features provided by Trading Central include:. Trading Central is fully compatible with MetaTrader 4.
Although the third-party service usually costs a subscription, FxPro MT4 users gain free access to the technical analysis features. With over 80 fx pairs available on MT4, Forex. Competitors such as IC Markets and Plus offer less than 60 currency pairs, with a fewer minor and exotic fx pairs available to trade than Forex.
With a wide range of currency pairs yet limited CFDs, Forex. Examples of minimum and typical spreads for commonly traded fx pairs are:. Direct market access DMA allows commission account holders to access tighter spreads, with the ability to view multiple levels of pricing from top-tier liquidity sources market depth.
As well as the depth of market pricing, DMA Accounts are rewarded with reduced commission fees for trading high volumes. Unfortunately, though you can trade lower spreads with potentially discounted commission charges, DMA Accounts cannot trade Forex.
To practice trading currencies on MT4, Forex. View Forex. AvaTrade is an MT4 broker that offers the software as a desktop trading platform, webtrader, or mobile trading app. Regardless of whether you are trading CFDs or spread betting, you can access over 60 financial markets, including shares, which many brokers do not offer on MT When implementing Expert Advisors trading robots tight, ECN-like spreads will help forex traders maximise profits.
Axi formally AxiTrader offers institutional-grade pricing via its Pro Account, making it a great choice for those wanting to focus on algorithmic trading. As Pro Account holders are offered ultra-tight spreads starting from 0. Alternatively, if a commission-free pricing structure is preferred, Axi offers a Standard Account type with spreads starting from 0. You can either develop your own EAs or download existing programs from the MetaTrader Marketplace online.
As well as automating technical analysis, EAs can be used to automatically enter and exit markets, saving time researching and placing trades. As well as algorithmic trading with Expert Advisors, Axi customers using MT4 gain access to the following features:. As well as low spreads, Pepperstone customers can automate trading with Expert Advisors or social-copy tools, perform advanced technical analysis and access add-on features to enhance your MT4 trading environment.
FCA UK. CBI Ireland. Raw Spread. Commissions USD Base. Minimum Deposit. Swap Free Account. No Inactivity Fees. Funding Methods. No Funding Fees. Currency Pairs. Index CFDs. Share CFDs. Commodities CFD. Retail Max. Leverage The United Kingdom. MetaTrader 4 MT4. MetaTrader 5 MT5. Proprietary Platform. Automated Trading. Standard Stop Loss. Guaranteed Stop Loss. Demo Account.
Unique Feature. Pepperstone Razor: Average Spreads. Total Fees. Visit Broker. Pepperstone Standard: Average Spreads. Our Rating The overall rating is based on review by our experts.