Lots of traders who are new to forex trading always asks me “What is the best forex trading platform?”. Because transactions in retail forex market are made on electronic trading platforms, it is very important to choose the most suitable software for your trading experience and style.
That is why I would like to talk about the most popular trading platforms, their advantages and disadvantages in this article.
MetaTrader 4 & MetaTrader 5
First of all, I am sure that most of you have already heard MetaTrader platform. MetaQuotes Software Corp.’s MetaTrader 4 & MetaTrader 5 are now the most popular and useful platforms in the world. In addition to these platforms, cTrader and Sirix platforms are the other popular forex trading platforms. But I can say MetaTrader 4 is the best and the most used forex trading platform by far and it is the trading platform offered by every forex broker by default. Therefore, I can call MetaTrader the industry standard trading platform.
A great majority of the forex traders all around the world use MetaTrader 4 (MT4) for executing orders, charting and technical analysis. Because, MT4 is stable, fast and user friendly. I can say MetaTrader 4’s one of the greatest benefits is one-click trading feature. Also, MT4 allows traders to use thousands of expert advisors (automated trading systems) and it comes with more than 50 different indicators which is used for technical analysis for traders whose strategy is based on technical. Pending orders and limit orders are other useful features available on the platform.
You can install MetaTrader 4 on your mobile device or tablet. It supports iOS and Android operating systems and works very smoothly but mobile phones built on Windows OS are not supported yet. In addition to these you can use Metatrader 4 webtrader without downloading any file on your computer. I think these are the best features of MetaTrader 4 and I strongly recommend it for traders with any experience. MetaTrader 4 is my favorite platform as well.
MetaTrader 5 is very similar to MetaTrader 4 but it has more features. It has not caught the popularity of MetaTrader 4 yet but it has faster order execution and comes with more technical indicators. MetaTrader 5 would be my next choice in case MetaTrader 4 is no longer available. Traders can download both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 on MetaQuotes web site and also on forex brokers’ web site which offer them. Installation process doesn’t take longer than few minutes and soon after you logged into your forex account, you can start trading.
cTrader is the second most popular trading platform for forex traders. It is developed by the Cyprus based company, Spotware. cTrader platform differs from MetaTrader because it is customized for the use with ECN forex brokers. Thus, it is usually offered by forex brokers that have ECN account option. FxPro, Pepperstone, IC Markets are some of the brokers that provide cTrader platform for their clients in addition to MetaTrader.
Two major features of cTrader is execution of trades and charting. cTrader comes with a very clean and easy-to-use interface. I recall that when I first started trading with MetaTrader several years ago it was much harder to learn and get used to it compared to my learning experience with cTrader platform. If you trade with cTrader for few days, you are going to feel that MetaTrader is quite cumbersome.
On the other hand, cTrader has some important disadvantages compared to MetaTrader. Almost all of the program coders in forex industry have been doing so using programming language of MetaTrader which is MQL4. So, if you would like to hire a programmer to order your own customized indicator or expert advisor, it is much more difficult and expensive compared to MetaTrader.
Another downside of cTrader is the speed for order execution. The trading platform fails to execute orders as fast as MetaTrader thus risks higher possibility of slippage. This is a deal breaker especially for forex traders whose strategy is based on very short term trades such as scalping and news trading.
Sirix Trader is a web-based platform that you can only use it on your web browser. That means you don’t need to download and install any file. In addition to computers, Sirix is available on all HTML 5 supported mobile devices and tablets. .This platform is very easy to use, has numerous technical indicators, supports one-click trading and pending orders. However it could be way too simple for experienced forex traders. So, I think Sirix Trader would be the best option for new traders because MetaTrader 4 has much more features than Sirix and experienced traders would find it insufficient.