Which is the best forex trading platform?
There are many differences between MetaTrader and cTrader.
There’s a lot to say.
We’ll start off by talking about MetaTrader…
MT4 and MT5 differences
MetaTrader is software designed by MetaQuotes, mainly for internet forex trading.
MT4 ― the first version of MetaTrader ― was released in 2005. It instantly became a hit with forex traders since it offered a better platform, with high server stability. MetaTrader 4 was built to assist both beginners and expert forex traders.
In 2010, MetaQuotes released an upgrade of MT4 and called it MT5. MT5 has a similar interface to MT4, with new improvements:
|Programming Language||MetaQuotes language 4 (MQL4)||MetaQuotes language 5 (MQL5)|
|Efficiency||Less efficient||More efficient|
|Editing And User Manipulation||Forex traders can’t create or change scripts||Forex traders can create and change scripts|
|Timeframes||9 timeframes: 4 x minutes, 2 x hours, daily, weekly and monthly||21 timeframes: 11 x minutes, 7 x hours, daily, weekly and monthly|
You might be confused with the timeframes. For example, noting that MT4 has ‘4 x minutes’, it has four different types of minute charts (i.e. one minute, five–minute, 15–minute, etc.).
MT4 and MT5 similarities
- MT4 and MT5 have similar interfaces;
- MT4 and MT5 software can use expert advisers, which enables automatic trading;
- MT4 and MT5 support the three most popular charts ― line, bar and candlestick.
MT4 advantages over MT5
Indeed, while MT5 is an updated version of MT4, some forex traders still prefer MT4.
But while MT5 has higher efficiency (i.e. less bugs), and allows you to create and change scripts, MT5 also has some unfavourable loopholes.
(We won’t get into them in this article.)
MT4 has been in market for nearly two decades and has gained a solid reputation with forex traders. Lots of automated trading programs use MT4 because of its long history.
The greatest challenge with MT5 is the inability to read programs developed for MT4. That disadvantage can’t be overlooked. It’s the number one reason why some forex traders choose MT4.
But you might not care about automated trading and like the extra features that MT5 provides. Everyone’s different. That said, is MetaTrader better than cTrader?
MetaTrader and cTrader differences
Because of its long history, MetaTrader has become the most used and recommended forex trading software in the market.
That doesn’t mean it’s the best platform to trade forex.
Spotware’s cTrader is MetaTrader’s largest competitor on the forex market. Realised in 2011, cTrader’s software is similar to MetaTrader’s. But it includes more securities and advanced tools. The software also uses the common C# programming language, which makes it more suitable for tool and script creation.
Below are a few differences between the two platforms…
The MetaTrader software uses MetaQuotes languages ― MQL4 and MQL5. These programming languages are the unique signature of the MetaTrader software.
The cTrader software uses the C# programming language. This language allows stability to edit and create tools and scripts for algorithmic trading.
Charts and interface
Forex charts help traders decide where to buy and sell. Therefore, the chart is the most used and important feature of any forex platform when performing technical analysis. That’s why the chart space tends to take up the most area of cTrader and MetaTrader interfaces.
In MetaTrader’s software, four individual charts are shown on the platform. This allows you to look at four different assets, where only one chart can be maximised at a time. For example, if you want to trade gold, you can click the ‘Maximise’ button to show a bigger chart.
To change a chart on MetaTrader, you need to right-click on it and choose the preferred chart timeframe. Or, you click on the chart menu to select the required chart.
If you’re thinking about trading on cTrader, you will see only one chart displayed in the middle of the screen. This compares with four charts in the middle of the screen on MetaTrader 4 and 5. To change a chart on the cTrader platform, you just need to right-click on the chart until you find what you want.
I believe cTrader has a cleaner and more modern–looking interface.
cTrader software supports both dark and light themes as well. I prefer to trade with a dark–coloured background on cTrader. In comparison, MetaTrader has a Windows 98 look, with a blank white and light grey window.
cTrader timeframes are unique and differ greatly compared to MetaTrader.
cTrader has 24 timeframes: 14 x minutes, 7 x hours, 3 x days, weekly and monthly.
MT4 has nine timeframes: 4 x minutes, 2 x hours, daily, weekly and monthly.
MT5 has 21 timeframes: 11 x minutes, 7 x hours, daily, weekly and monthly.
MetaTrader is widely available and highly recommended by forex brokers. It’s also mobile friendly and very easy for you to use. As we know, MT4 is more highly recommended and widely used by forex traders.
Furthermore, due to its high cost and low preference among traders, forex brokers have struggled obtaining MT5 licences for their clients to use. So not all forex brokers offer MT5 to traders. Keep in mind, you don’t have to pay for the software or platform ― your forex broker does.
In comparison to MT4 and MT5, cTrader is less widely available to forex traders. Presently, forex brokers are still getting to know the platform and most don’t offer it. But cTrader’s demand is rapidly increasing due to its advanced trading tool and modern interface.
Both platforms are generally designed to allow for customisation.
MetaTrader offers forex brokers the greatest customisation possibilities, in contrast to a lot of trading interfaces. Forex brokers are given the opportunity to completely rebrand the software. For example, they can give a customised name to the platform, change button colours, insert logos and icons, etc.
MetaTrader allows the broker to create their own personal brand on the platform. MetaTrader software also supports external plug-in, extensions and applications, which may or may not have been created by MetaQuotes.
This differs greatly to the cTrader platform…
cTrader only accepts plug-ins and extensions that are built by Spotware. External plug-ins aren’t supported. The forex broker has to issue a report to Spotware’s development team. But, as forex traders, I don’t see this as a big deal. If you’re trying to do anything complicated, such as developing an advanced algorithm that’s not supported by the platform, speak to your broker.
Mobile, desktop and browser friendliness
MetaTrader was designed as an app, which has to be downloaded and installed on a mobile device or desktop. That’s made the software not as ‘browser friendly’ as some forex traders would like, since some trading tools and features can’t be easily accessed.
cTrader was designed as a web platform, which means it’s easily accessible across many browsers. Put simply, cTrader’s tools and features are extremely accessible for anyone to trade forex from anywhere and at any time.
cTrader stands out from the MetaTrader with its market preview feature. That’s because it offers three chart modes: Multi-chart, single chart and free chart. The three options are useful to get different views of market trends. cTrader also allows you to accurately assess the market’s depth in three different ways:
Market preview helps forex traders track trend and liquidity to make better decisions.
The cTrader platform offers algorithmic trading tools called cAlgo (cBots). That’s similar to MetaTrader’s Expert Advisor (EA).
cAlgo allows automatic trading for everyone ― especially traders who know C# programming. EAs have ready-made solutions attached to them. In this way, they are useful for beginner traders who want to use algorithmic strategies created by experts.
The differences between the two platforms are as follows:
|Trading||Supports CFD and cryptocurrency trading||Also supports one-click chart trading|
|Algorithms (Bots)||Expert advisers||Uses cAlgo|
|Server Service||Reliable virtual private server service||Cloud services and server trading stop|
Your ‘Start With Forex’ takeaway
What’s the best forex platform?
The choice is yours!
Each platform is different for each forex trader.
If you’re looking for customisable platforms, which can provide ready-made solutions, MetaTrader might be for you. Keep in mind, MetaTrader doesn’t support trading over the internet (i.e. you can’t log into a website to trade forex). MetaTrader is designed as a platform and to be mobile friendly.
If you’re looking for a web-based forex trader, and have no interest in branding and customisation, the cTrader comes highly recommended. cTrader also has a platform for download to use on your computer and mobile as well. But if you can’t access your platforms, c-Trader also allows you to log into a website to trade forex.
Those are the major differences between the two platforms.
I recommend trialling both MetaTrader and cTrader to see which one you like.
Forex traders often get confused about whether they should use MT4, MT5 or cTrader. In the next short lesson, we’ll dive into currency correlation ― one of the easiest ways to profit as a forex trader.
If you’re ready to learn about the power of currency correlation in forex trading, click here.
To your trading success,
Start With Forex
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