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Best Forex Platforms 2021

Eric Rosenberg
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After fees, what’s the most important feature in a brokerage? Many would argue the trading platform. Forex brokerages typically offer a downloadable desktop app, mobile app, and web-based trading platform. The best trading platforms offer live data, flexible charts, custom views, and rapid-fire trading capabilities to lock in your profit at the perfect moment.

The brokers below represent the brokers with the best forex platforms

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BrokerOfficial SiteRegulationsMin DepositMax LeverageTrading PlatformsFoundation YearPublicly TradedTrading Desk TypeCurrenciesCommoditiesIndicesStocksCryptoCommission on tradesFixed spreadsoffers promotions
Plus500
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72% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

FCA, ASIC, CySEC, FSB, ISA, MAS

$100

1:30 (FCA), 1:-1 (ASIC), 1:30 (CySEC), 1:-1 (FSB), 1:20 (ISA), 1:-1 (MAS)

Plus500

2008

No dealing desk

XTB
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77 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

FCA, CySEC, IFSC, CNMV in Spain, KNF

N/A

1:30 (FCA), 1:30 (CySEC), 1:30 (IFSC), 1:30 (CNMV in Spain), 1:100 (KNF)

MT4, xStation 5

2002

Market Maker, STP

TMGM
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The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Investing in CFDs and Margined FX Contracts carries significant risks and is not suitable for all investors. You may lose more than your initial deposit. You don’t own, or have, any interest in the underlining assets. We recommend that you seek independent advice and ensure fully understand the risks involved before trading. It is important that you read and consider disclosure documents before you acquire any product listed on the website. The information and advertisements offered on this website are not intended for use by any person in any country or jurisdiction where such use is contrary to the local laws and regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States.

ASIC, FMA, VFSC

$100

1:30 (ASIC), 1:500 (VFSC)

MT4, IRESS

2013

ECN, STP

AvaTrade
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71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, FSA(JP), FSC, BVI, CBI

$100

1:30 (ASIC), 1:30 (CySEC), 1:500 (FSCA), 1:25 (FSA(JP)), 1:3500 (FSC), 1:1000 (BVI), 1:30 (CBI)

MT4, MT5, Proprietary, AvaSocial, AvaTradeGo, AvaOptions, WebTrader

2006

Market Maker

FP Markets
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DISCLAIMER: This material on this website is intended for illustrative purposes and general information only. It does not constitute financial advice nor does it take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Commission, interest, platform fees, dividends, variation margin and other fees and charges may apply to financial products or services available from FP Markets. The information in this website has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the information in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs before making any decision about whether to acquire or dispose of any financial product. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are derivatives and can be risky; When trading CFDs you do not own or have any rights to the CFDs underlying assets. FP Markets recommends that you seek independent advice from an appropriately qualified person before deciding to invest in or dispose of a derivative. A Product Disclosure Statement for each of the financial products available from FP Markets can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into transactions with us. First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd (ABN 16 112 600 281, AFS Licence No. 286354). FP Markets is a group of companies which include, First Prudential Markets Ltd (registration number HE 372179), a company authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC License number 371/18, Registered Address: Griva Digeni, 109, Aigeo Court, 2nd floor, 3101, Limassol, Cyprus. FP Markets does not accept applications from U.S, Japan or New Zealand residents or residents from any other country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to those local laws or regulations.

ASIC, CySEC

$100

1:30 (ASIC), 1:30 (CySEC)

MT4, MT5, IRESS, WebTrader

2005

DMA, ECN, No dealing desk, STP

Swissquote Bank
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Trading involves risks. Products and services of Swissquote are only intended for those permitted to receive them under local law.

FCA, FINMA, MFSA, SFC, DFSA, MAS

$1000

1:100 (FCA), 1:100 (FINMA), 1:100 (MFSA), 1:100 (SFC), 1:100 (DFSA), 1:100 (MAS)

MT4, MT5, Advanced Trader

1996

Bank, Dealing Desk, Market Maker, No dealing desk

FxPro
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Trade Responsibly. CFD's and Spread Betting are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 85.32% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs and Spread Betting with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs and Spread Betting work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

FCA, CySEC, FSCA, SCB

$100

1:30 (FCA), 1:30 (CySEC), 1:500 (FSCA), 1:200 (SCB)

MT4, MT5, Proprietary, cTrader

2006

No dealing desk

BDSwiss
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This website is for general information purposes only and is operated by BDSwiss AG. BDSwiss AG is the BDSwiss Group’s Holding Company domiciled in Grienbachstrasse 11, 6300, Zug, Switzerland. BDSwiss AG does NOT offer any financial products or services.

CySEC, NFA, FSC, BaFin, FSA(JP)

$100

1:30 (CySEC), 1:-1 (NFA), 1:3500 (FSC), 1:30 (BaFin), 1:-2 (FSA(JP))

MT5, Proprietary, WebTrader

2012

Market Maker, STP

IC Markets
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Trading Derivatives carries a high level of risk to your capital and you should only trade with money you can afford to lose. Trading Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved, and seek independent advice if necessary. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into a transaction with us. Raw Spread accounts offer spreads from 0.0 pips with a commission charge of USD $3.50 per 100k traded. Standard account offer spreads from 1 pips with no additional commission charges. Spreads on CFD indices start at 0.4 points. The information on this site is not directed at residents in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

ASIC, CySEC, FSA(SC)

$200

1:30 (ASIC), 1:30 (CySEC), 1:500 (FSA(SC))

MT4, MT5, cTrader

2007

ECN, No dealing desk

Tickmill
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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79.27% and 73.32% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

FCA, CySEC, FSCA, FSA(SC), Labuan FSA

$100

1:30 (FCA), 1:30 (CySEC), 1:500 (FSCA), 1:500 (FSA(SC)), 1:1000 (Labuan FSA)

MT4

2014

No dealing desk

eToro
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67% of retail CFD investors lose money

FCA, ASIC, CySEC, MiFID

$200

1:-2 (FCA), 1:30 (ASIC), 1:30 (CySEC), 1:30 (MiFID)

eToro Platform

2007

Market Maker, No dealing desk, STP

Pro Tip: Most of these brokers offer free demo accounts so you can test the brokers and their platforms with virtual money. Give it a try with some play money before using your own cash.

Here’s a list of The Best Forex Platforms


Note: Not all Forex brokers accept US clients. For your convenience, we specified those that accept US Forex traders as clients.

Plus500

Plus500

Regulated By:FCA, ASIC, CySEC, FSB, ISA, MAS

Foundation Year:2008

Headquarters:Israel

Min Deposit:$100

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72% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Plus500 is on several of our top lists. When it comes to trading platforms, Plus500 is a clear standout. This brokerage supports a Windows 10 app, mobile apps on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, and a web platform. You can test it out with a free demo account and then log in to the live version when you’re ready.

Pros Cons
  • Native apps for Windows 10 and popular smartphones
  • Custom alerts keep you informed at your PC or on the go
  • Risk management features to protect your funds
  • No native application for Mac computers
  • Windows app only available through Microsoft Store
  • Limited features for some professional/advanced level traders

XTB

XTB

Regulated By:FCA, CySEC, IFSC, CNMV in Spain, KNF

Foundation Year:2002

Headquarters:Poland

Min Deposit:N/A

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77 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

XTB is an award-winning CFD platform that supports Forex, indices, commodities, stock CFDs, ETF CFDs, and cryptocurrencies. For Forex, XTB supports 48 currency pairs with low-cost spreads. Customers of XTB can choose between trading on the xStation 5 or MT4 platforms. For leverage accounts, this brokerage offers leverage of up to 200:1.

Stock and ETF CFDs all attract a fixed commission of 0.08% per lot across the two types of accounts.

Pros: Cons:
  • Choose between two excellent trading platforms (xStation 5 or MT4 platforms)
  • A collection of 3000+ trading instruments across six asset classes
  • Low spreads
  • Fewer Forex pairs than some top competitors
  • No 24/7 support

TMGM

TMGM

Regulated By:ASIC, FMA, VFSC

Foundation Year:2013

Headquarters:Australia

Min Deposit:$100

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The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Investing in CFDs and Margined FX Contracts carries significant risks and is not suitable for all investors. You may lose more than your initial deposit. You don’t own, or have, any interest in the underlining assets. We recommend that you seek independent advice and ensure fully understand the risks involved before trading. It is important that you read and consider disclosure documents before you acquire any product listed on the website. The information and advertisements offered on this website are not intended for use by any person in any country or jurisdiction where such use is contrary to the local laws and regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States.

TMGM is authorised and regulated in various jurisdictions including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC). It also holds an Australian Financial Services Licence and segregates client funds from its own, holding them with tier 1 Australian banks Westpac and National Australia Bank.

With TMGM, users can trade on more than 15,000+ financial CFD instruments covering 7 asset classes including Forex, Metals, Energies, Cryptocurrencies, Commodities, Indices and Shares from the US, Australia and Hong Kong. This can be done from 2 types of trading accounts. The Edge Account offers commission-based trading of $7 per round turn and raw spreads from 0 pips while the Classic Account offers commission-free trading with spreads from 1 pip.

Pros: Cons:
  • 15,000+ financial instruments to trade on
  • Commission-free trading available
  • ECN trading accounts
  • MT4/MT5 and IRESS trading platform
  • 24/5 customer service
  • Limited trader research and education resources.

AvaTrade

AvaTrade

Regulated By:ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, FSA(JP), FSC, BVI, CBI

Foundation Year:2006

Headquarters:Ireland

Min Deposit:$100

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71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

AvaTrade was founded in 2006 and is authorised and regulated across all six continents it operates including by the CBI, BVI FSC, ASIC, FSCA, FSA and ADGM. It is one of the oldest online forex and CFD brokers with a well-established reputation for customer support, competitive fees and spreads – all in addition to offering a large range of financial instruments, even including ETFs and FX options for those who like to diversify across assets.

Users can choose to open several different account types – Retail, Professional, Spread betting and Options. The differences are discussed in the account opening section below. Retail, professional accounts offer access to over 1,250+ financial instruments across the AvaTrade propriety web-based platform, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. Additional platforms include DupliTrade, AvaTradeGo, AvaOptions and AvaSocial, all of which are discussed further down this review.

Pros: Cons:
  • Global regulation – CBI, BVI FSC, ASIC, FSCA, FSA and ADGM.
  • A wide selection of platforms for every type of trader including MT4/MT5.
  • Competitive spreads and fees.
  • Multilingual customer support.
  • Not available to residents in the USA and Iran.

FP Markets

FP Markets

Regulated By:ASIC, CySEC

Foundation Year:2005

Headquarters:Australia

Min Deposit:$100

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DISCLAIMER: This material on this website is intended for illustrative purposes and general information only. It does not constitute financial advice nor does it take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Commission, interest, platform fees, dividends, variation margin and other fees and charges may apply to financial products or services available from FP Markets. The information in this website has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the information in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs before making any decision about whether to acquire or dispose of any financial product. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are derivatives and can be risky; When trading CFDs you do not own or have any rights to the CFDs underlying assets. FP Markets recommends that you seek independent advice from an appropriately qualified person before deciding to invest in or dispose of a derivative. A Product Disclosure Statement for each of the financial products available from FP Markets can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into transactions with us. First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd (ABN 16 112 600 281, AFS Licence No. 286354). FP Markets is a group of companies which include, First Prudential Markets Ltd (registration number HE 372179), a company authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC License number 371/18, Registered Address: Griva Digeni, 109, Aigeo Court, 2nd floor, 3101, Limassol, Cyprus. FP Markets does not accept applications from U.S, Japan or New Zealand residents or residents from any other country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to those local laws or regulations.

This brokerage offers a massive range of tradable assets through Forex, CFD, and share trading accounts. FP Markets supports the MT4, MT5, and IRESS platforms and offers leverage up to 500:1. You can trade 45 currency pairs with competitive spread or commission pricing.

Pros: Cons:
  • 10,000+ tradable assets
  • Choose between 3 trading platforms
  • Competitive spread pricing on raw account
  • High spreads on the standard account
  • A range of possible additional fees
  • AU $200 minimum opening balance

Swissquote

Swissquote Bank

Regulated By:FCA, FINMA, MFSA, SFC, DFSA, MAS

Foundation Year:1996

Headquarters:Switzerland

Min Deposit:$1000

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Trading involves risks. Products and services of Swissquote are only intended for those permitted to receive them under local law.

Swissquote Bank Ltd. is an online forex, CFD and derivatives trading broker that offers what may be called a total trading package that goes beyond forex or CFDs. Swissquote Bank is part of the Swissquote Group Holdings Ltd, and represents the Swiss-based trading division of the company. Swissquote Bank operates from Gland, Switzerland and commenced operations in 1996.

Pros Cons
  • Swissquote Bank is a regulated entity.
  • There is a comprehensive trader education suite.
  • Customer support is very responsive and provides timely service.
  • Investor protection is very strong.
  • Highly diversified asset base, which caters to all kinds of traders.
  • Many countries are excluded from doing business with Swissquote, which prevents traders in those countries from opening trading accounts.
  • Minimum deposit amounts are high.

FX Pro

FxPro

Regulated By:FCA, CySEC, FSCA, SCB

Foundation Year:2006

Headquarters:United Kingdom

Min Deposit:$100

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Trade Responsibly. CFD's and Spread Betting are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 85.32% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs and Spread Betting with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs and Spread Betting work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

FxPro gives you access to a buffett of trading platforms. Choose between MT4, MT5, cTrader Pro, and FxPro Edge. As the name implies, FxPro Edge is made specifically for foreign exchange. Most orders on FxPro are executed within 13 milliseconds. FxPro is currently in beta, meaning it is a new app and may have some bugs.

Pros  Cons
  • Support for four platforms
  • Proprietary FXPro Edge platform with lower spreads
  • Great options for beginner to advanced traders
  • Login required for demo
  • Higher spreads on MT4 and MT5
  • No signup bonus

BDSwiss

BDSwiss

Regulated By:CySEC, NFA, FSC, BaFin, FSA(JP)

Foundation Year:2012

Headquarters:Cyprus

Min Deposit:$100

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This website is for general information purposes only and is operated by BDSwiss AG. BDSwiss AG is the BDSwiss Group’s Holding Company domiciled in Grienbachstrasse 11, 6300, Zug, Switzerland. BDSwiss AG does NOT offer any financial products or services.

Under the brand name BDSwiss, the group offers over 250 CFD trading instruments in 5 asset classes: currencies, cryptocurrencies, stocks, commodities and indices. The Group  boasts of over one million registered accounts and a trading volume of €20 Billion forex trades per month. The official websites are  available in 23 languages.

IC Markets

IC Markets

Regulated By:ASIC, CySEC, FSA(SC)

Foundation Year:2007

Headquarters:Australia

Min Deposit:$200

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Trading Derivatives carries a high level of risk to your capital and you should only trade with money you can afford to lose. Trading Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved, and seek independent advice if necessary. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into a transaction with us. Raw Spread accounts offer spreads from 0.0 pips with a commission charge of USD $3.50 per 100k traded. Standard account offer spreads from 1 pips with no additional commission charges. Spreads on CFD indices start at 0.4 points. The information on this site is not directed at residents in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

IC Markets was founded in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), as well as the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The broker offers three core trading accounts called Raw Spread (cTrader), Raw Spread (MetaTrader) and a Standard Account (MetaTrader). Spreads start from zero pips on the Raw Spread accounts with commission-payable. The Standard Account offers commission-free trading with spreads from just one pip. The broker also offers demo trading accounts and Islamic swap-free accounts.

Pros: Cons:
  • Raw spread accounts with institutional grade liquidity available.
  • Commission-free trading available.
  • MetaTrader and cTrader available on desktop, web and mobile.
  • Wide range of tradable products with 24/7 customer support.
  • Impressive library of educational material and videos.
  • Beginner traders may be overwhelmed by the choice of markets and platforms.

Tickmill

Tickmill

Regulated By:FCA, CySEC, FSCA, FSA(SC), Labuan FSA

Foundation Year:2014

Headquarters:United Kingdom

Min Deposit:$100

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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79.27% and 73.32% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Tickmill was founded in 2014 and is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The broker provides more than 80+ CFD instruments to trade on covering Forex, Indices, Commodities and Bonds through three core trading accounts called the Pro Account, Classic Account and VIP Account. They also offer a demo trading account and Islamic swap-free account.

Pros: Cons:
  • Multiple regulations and licences.
  • Commission-free trading accounts available.
  • Competitive spreads and overnight swap charges.
  • Impressive range of trader research tools and analysis.
  • No stocks available.
  • MetaTrader 5 not available.

eToro

eToro

Regulated By:FCA, ASIC, CySEC, MiFID

Foundation Year:2007

Headquarters:Cyprus

Min Deposit:$200

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67% of retail CFD investors lose money

eToro was founded in 2007 and is authorised and regulated around the world through its different subsidiaries. This includes regulation from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). 

The broker offers a wide range of products through the eToro trading platform and mobile app and includes the ability to trade on more than 2,000+ financial CFD instruments covering Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Currencies and Cryptocurrencies. Users can also access ready-made CopyPortfolios, open Investing Accounts with zero commission, Professional Accounts and access social trading services via CopyTrader which is eToro’s most popular feature. 

Pros: Cons:
  • CySEC, FCA, ASIC regulated. 
  • 2,000+ markets to trade on.
  • Choice of trading, investing and copy trading accounts. 
  • Leading social trading platform for CopyTrading.
  • Feature-rich eToro Trading Platform for web and mobile.
  • Customer support Live Chat feature not available in all regions yet.

How to Choose the Best Forex Platforms and Software

Equally as important as the Forex broker you choose to work with is the trading software you will use each day. To get the most out of your trading day you should interact with a variety of different types of technology.  This includes more than just the trading platform to actually execute the trades, but extends to the robots, auto trading software, charting packages, and signal services.

The trading process in the Forex market is an interplay of interaction between various software ranging from the trading platform to other add-ons such as indicators and expert advisors. Both beginners and intermediate level traders should be familiar with what is out there and available to them for their Forex trading activities.

Being able to participate in retail forex trading requires a sound knowledge of the use of the trading software that has been designed for this purpose. The trading software provides direct access to the market and can also give you a trading edge. It is therefore essential that you pick the software that you will use to trade very carefully, as the level of understanding of the software and the tools and its functions will determine the extent of success you will achieve in the market.

What to Look For When Choosing A Trading Platform

While we are focusing here on choosing a Trading Platform it is important to note that it goes hand in hand with selecting the best Forex broker for you. You have to like the technology that the broker has on offer. In helping you decide on the best Forex trading software or Forex trading platform for you, you must be able to answer some basic questions. The questions posed below give some insight as to things the trader should consider when choosing a platform.

Does the trading platform offer the lowest spreads around?

This is really important to know as you want to get the best deal when placing trades. On each trade, you execute you will first have to cover the price of the spread (eg. The broker’s charge which is the difference between the buy and sell price of an asset) before you can see a profit.

What is my proficiency level? Am I a beginner, intermediate level trader or advanced trader?

The requirements of different types of traders are varied. For instance, there is software that is especially dedicated to beginners or pros.

Beginners

Beginners will certainly require a stripped down simplistic version of a trading platform. It will need to be user-friendly and simple to understand. Beginner traders will not necessarily need indicators and will probably not execute complex orders.  Beginners can find trading sentiment bars (showing how other traders are trading) and copy trading services particularly useful. They should refer to charts of course, but perhaps won’t yet be ready to implement technical studies.

Pros

Advanced traders will require much more functionality on their platforms, including advanced indicators on their charts and tools. They will usually require a source of news directly on the platform and may even wish to trade directly from charts. They will often use Electronic Advisers (EA’s) or other code add-ons, which is a type of algorithm that they can implement directly into the platform.

What types of software are available for trading?

There is quite a list that covers:

  1. Platforms
    • Proprietary platform (eg. Built especially for the broker)
    • Generalized or Turnkey (like the MT4 or CTrader).
  2. Charting technology that finds patterns in the trend lines (eg. AutoChartist)
  3. Market analysis software like Trading Central which gives you trade ideas
  4. Auto trading or copy trading software that lets you choose other traders to follow, while you sit back and let the trading be done for you.
  5. Signal services which send you to trade alerts by SMS or email to identify trading opportunities for you.
  6. Trading Tools like economic calendar, currency converter, earnings report stream, commission calculator etc.

Does my preferred forex broker offer the trading platform I am used to?

If you want to trade for instance with MetaTrader4 as many traders do, first check if your broker of choice offer this. Perhaps you don’t get along with the MT4 and prefer customizable proprietary technology.  You can also refer to our broker reviews which shows you all the technology offered by the brokers.

Is the software free? If not, how much will the forex trading software cost?

Platforms are almost always free to use. Signal services usually require a subscription fee as do charting software and auto trading services.

How much capital do I have?

Up to $1000 – A trader with just $1,000 capital will find it hard to find a true ECN platform (Electronic Communications Network where the broker passes on the trades to third parties) that accepts this capital size, as the minimum deposit requirements for ECN accounts are usually very high – sometimes $100,000+.

Remember most brokers do also offer demo-trading accounts to test drive their platforms before you commit real cash. A market maker broker will offer a micro or mini account for this capital. FXCM, for instance, have a mini account that requires just $50 deposit.

$1001-$5000 – Most brokers will offer a mini trading account for a capital of this size including some NDD brokers. This is considered the standard account for beginners and more experienced traders.

$5000+ – Anything above the $5000 mark will qualify for a Pro account. This account type will come with some added benefits like better trading conditions and extra trading features like signals.

Will I be trading a single account or multiple accounts simultaneously?

Are you a money manager? If so you will require a PAMM account which gives you access to trading multiple accounts with your email address. For instance, the MT4 Multi-terminal enables the trader to implement a single trade on several accounts at the same, which gives better handling than if several instances of the MT4 were to be used to trade all the accounts.

Does my preferred trading platform offer the financial assets I intend to trade?

Do you have preferences over the assets you like to trade? If so check that the platform you are trading on gives you access to them.

Proprietary platform or Commercial/Turnkey platform

Proprietary platforms are unique platforms which are designed by a brokerage to suit their unique product offerings. Some brokers decide to go this route so as to give something extra to their clients beyond what the turnkey platforms offer. For instance, the eToro OpenBook/CopyTrader software is proprietary software from eToro, specifically created for this broker’s social trading program. You will not find a replica of this software anywhere else.

The Plus500 proprietary platform for web, PC and mobile are extremely user-friendly which makes it perfect for new traders, plus it has enough capability for more experienced traders to implement indicators and strategies onto the platform charts.

In contrast, the MetaTrader4 is a turnkey/commercial platform which can be customized by the software company to suit the broker’s brand, without any alteration in the features and functions of the platform.

There are pros and cons to the use of proprietary platforms. Let us use the Plus500 platform and the MT4 to illustrate this.

Proprietary

Pros

  • Built to spec – Brokers design and plan their proprietary platforms carefully to meet the needs of their traders. They will factor in a whole range of functionality in order to cater to different types of a trader and sometimes will offer a simple and a pro version of their platform catered specifically to a beginner or more expert traders.
  • Additional Features – For proprietary platforms, traders may be able to get some features that they would not get anywhere else with a particular broker. For instance, Plus500’s award-winning platform allows traders to trade in over 50 markets and sends alerts when the assets reach certain levels. They offer their proprietary technology across multiple platforms eg. mobile, web and download.
  • Execution types – often proprietary platforms will allow traders to trade directly of charts and may give them the option for one-click trading or confirmed trade execution.

Cons

  • Restrictive Platforms – Proprietary platforms can be restrictive. They may be stripped down or oversimplify the trading process. Or they may not have as much functionality as the popular platforms.
  • Add-ons Non-Compatible – There are many add-ons such as EA’s (Electronic Advisers) and strategies that can be programmed and implemented into the turnkey technology such as the MT4 platform. There also API’s eg. Bridges to other technology types from the turnkey technology, such as using a shared wallet for many different trading vehicles

Commercial / White Label Platform

Pros

  • Implement EA’s/Add-ons – Ability to implement add-ons such as EA’s (Electronic Advisors) in order to create trading signals based on a specific strategy.
  • Suitable for all – Suitable for all levels of trader from beginners through to advanced, can sometimes be a little complicated for absolute beginners as it contains many features
  • Country Restriction – Some brokers offering the MT4 will not allow traders from certain countries to open live accounts. Affected traders can simply search for another MT4 broker that does not have such restrictions and open their accounts there. This is an advantage seen with commercial platforms.
  • Cross-Platform – Commercial platforms are usually available for download, web and for mobile trading too.
  • Asset Selection – Usually feature a wide variety of assets covering a broad spectrum of markets
  • Fast and robust – Usually fast execution times and low slippage with low downtime.

Cons

  • Basic Features – Tend not to be ultra modern or feature advanced trading tools such as calendar, news feeds, reports, tutorials
  • Generic – The turnkey platforms are often very generic and are not broken down to cater for beginner or expert traders. They are also not highly customizable as proprietary usually are.

Now that we have some information about what software is used in the forex market, what are the most popular trading software used in forex today? Here are some of them.

Retail Forex Trading

This software is mostly used by retail forex traders. They have features which enable retail traders to easily adapt to the rigors of the market since these traders do not have professional experience or training. The most popular retail forex trading software on this list is as follows:

MetaTrader

The MetaTrader4 and its successor, the MetaTrader5 (MT5) are undoubtedly the most widely used forex trading platforms in the retail segment of the market. This is because of the ease of use, its array of tools, compatibility with trading software, availability among brokers and the presence of a marketplace where traders can gain access to a variety of trading software, tools, scripts, indicators, expert advisors and other services, directly from the trading platform.

The MetaTrader series was developed by Metaquotes Inc, a Cyprus-based company. The company also took advantage of innovations in the technology space to develop mobile and web-based versions of the software. The platform was developed as a turnkey solution, enabling various brokers to have the software adapted to their own brands. In terms of universality, the MT4 comes first above other retail forex trading software. There is virtually no retail forex broker that does not offer this software.

ActTrader

ActTrader is a JAVA based platform. The advantage of this software is that it offers a unique web-based version of this platform, thus allowing traders to log in from any internet-connected computer that runs with JAVA.

ActTrader Enterprise Platform. © ActTrader Technologies Inc

Other retail forex platforms are those offered by JForex, NinjaTrader and TradeStation.

Non-dealing Desk Trading Software

This software is specifically built for institutional traders. These are traders with professional experience and training. The tools provided by this software are not meant for retail traders as the level of trading here is beyond the comprehension of retail participants in the market. This software is also called Level II trading software. Examples of this software are as follows:

cTrader

cTrader was developed by Spotware Systems, a company based in Cyprus. This software was built as a transition software. In other words, it incorporates features of retail forex trading software and the fully professional trading software. It features more time frames, more tools, a better charting package and a clean interface. However, it can only accept add-on software that has been coded with cAlgo.

Currenex

The Currenex ECN platform has been in the market for some time and provides traders with true ECN conditions. It is not built for beginners but for professional traders.

Fortex 6

The Fortex 6 platform is another example of an ECN platform. It works hand in hand with the Algox platform, which is the platform on which algorithms for the Fortex 6 are built.

The Fortex 6 platform. © Fortex Inc.

Other Types of Software and Platforms

The software mentioned below is not trading software offered by brokers but is auxiliary software that complements the core trading software in the market. You may like to call this software the support software which provides value-added service to the core trading software.

Forex Charting Software

Some software is designed to create better charting of instruments and enhanced technical analytical tools. This software creates stand-alone charts which can be better visualized and analyzed by traders. There are free and paid versions of this software.

Forex Signals Software

These are usually software services that are designed to provide traders with trade alerts on what to buy or sell at any given time. Most of these types of software are semi-automated, and provide just buy or sell recommendations either as pop-up alerts on the computer screen or as messages to the trader’s email or mobile phone (SMS and push notifications).

The trader is left with the option of trading these signals or ignoring them. Signals are usually generated from the back end of the software and the front end can be programmed to deliver the signals to the trader as required. Take a look at the FXEmpire signal service.

Forex Robots

Forex robots are automated trading software. They can be attached to the charts to analyze and place trades automatically based on their algorithms. This software can range from the simplified versions seen on retail forex platforms, to the highly complex algorithmic quants used for high-frequency trading in institutional setups.

Forex VDS

Forex Virtual Dedicated Servers (forex VDS) are commercial services which provide cloud-based remote connections for local computers of traders so that they can host their trading software in the cloud for continuous operations. They are fast becoming popular as they are a very good way to ensure that software is not affected by downtimes and power failures.

Copy Trader Software

This software is mostly used in social trading platforms to enable traders to copy the trades of those traders they have decided to follow. So instead of copying their trades manually (a time-consuming process which is prone to errors), the use of copy trader software simply does the job automatically once the choice of a leader trader has been made. More experienced traders can choose to become trade leaders in order to bring in an additional revenue stream.

Strategy Builders

Strategy builder software allows traders with no previous coding experience to build their own expert advisors and optimize them using tools already provided by the strategy builder software. All the trader needs to do is to indicate what parameters are to be fulfilled on the charts and the software automatically compiles the information into a trading software.

Read more about Forex strategy

Conclusion

The purpose of trading software is to enhance a trader’s trading results. When used correctly trading software can give insight into the market or even trade on your behalf. To test all of the available software on the market would be almost impossible to take a look at the list that we have compiled below to help you make your decision about what to use.

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