Trading platforms

When you choose a broker to work with, trading platforms are the first things you need to get familiar with. Functional features of trading platforms and the usability of software can impact the result of your trading activity. Our experts have tested the best trading platform and compiled the rating for you so that you could choose software that will satisfy your
needs. We paid attention to software developers, their functional features, and their usability.

What is a trading platform?

A trading terminal is a program developed for trading on financial markets. Forex trading platforms are used by brokers to provide their clients with the possibility to make deals in real time.

By using terminals, traders can:

  • get access to information about assets prices, news, and other data useful for analysis on the financial markets;
  • manager trading process: open and close deals, set entry orders;
  • open real accounts and manage them;
  • use instruments of technical and fundamental analysis for estimating the current market conditions and predicting future tendencies

Some of the top forex trading platforms feature instruments that might be used for testing strategies and systems of automated trading. Such software developments also have tools to analyze the productivity of the trading process. Trading terminals store the records of deals, based on which traders can create a statistical report.

Classification of trading terminals

Our trading platforms list includes popular terminals that might be used both by beginners and experienced traders. Developments for professional traders feature more functional options and analytical instruments. For instance, cTrader supports an unlimited number of charts and allows users to share their experiences with the help of solutions called ChartShots and ChartCasts.

Many brokers develop their own trading platforms. Such developments are, usually, easy-to-use that’s why they are very convenient for beginners. New traders use not all the available trading tools so simple design, availability of basic functions, and a user-friendly interface are the top-priority original online trading platforms.

Depending on the level of compatibility with operating systems, there are 3 major types of trading terminals:

  1. Desktop: they must be installed on the PC of a user. File for download is usually available on the broker’s website. When downloading such files, you need to make sure the software is compatible with the operating system of your computer.
  2. Browser-based: a user can open such terminals in one’s browser. They are also used in a real time mode. You don’t need to download web terminals. Plus, such platforms work faster than desktop ones. The disadvantage of such platforms is that their functional features are limited. For instance, traders cannot use users’ indicators when working on web-based forex trading platforms.
  3. Mobile: mobile terminals are used for trading on smartphones. Platforms of this type are optimized for download on Android and iOS devices. Unlike desktop apps, mobile apps have a limited number of functional features

Trading platforms are developed with different programming languages. It impacts the user’s possibility to add new indicators. The company MetaQuotes has developed such platforms as MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 that are based on the MQL4 and MQL5 programming languages. Developers can add or improve indicators if there is a need for users. cTrader is written with the C# language, which also means new instruments might be added. However, users of Libertex don’t have such a possibility.

How to choose the best forex trading platforms

When you choose a trading terminal, it’s better to find out whether it’s supported by its developer. The most popular trading software developers, including MetaQuotes, work on the worldwide market so they can guarantee quality software.

When creating our rating of top trading platforms, we take into account a number of basic aspects:

  • Functional features. Trading terminals differ from each other in terms of the available trading tools for technical analysis, availability of new and market updates. Experienced investors prefer platforms with a wide range of timeframes, insurance, and entry orders. The feature of market depth monitoring is a very beneficial bonus as well. Modern platforms provide access to testing and offer advisers for automated trading;
  • Multifunctionality. Usable terminals must be compatible with different operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS. Software developers regularly update the software so some of the modern terminals can be easily installed even on old computers that have Windows 95/2000 operating systems. The web interface is one more feature to prove the multifunctionality of any platform. Multifunctionality is also determined with access to multiple assets and trading instruments (currency, currency pairs, shares, cryptocurrency, exchange commodities, etc);
  • Usability. Stock trading platforms must be usable. It’s difficult to estimate this criterion because the usability of the interface depends on users’ specific preferences. However, we can estimate settings. If they are easy to set up, the platform might be called usable.

Trading platforms for stocks and other instruments must feature no bugs. This is extremely important for active traders who open many deals. Investors say that even a good web-based platform may feature more bugs than desktop ones. Bugs are quite common for free web-based terminals. If orders are executed with delays, traders may suffer significant losses.

What experts say

Choosing a good platform for trading depends on traders’ strategy and experience. Those who prefer speculative strategies work on MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. Beginners often choose free terminals for trading. Libertex is a good option for new traders. However, currently, it’s available only at the Forex Club broker. Such platforms as MT4 and MT5 are good for classic trading strategies. If you want to use advisers and trading robots, MT5 is your option.

A lot of traders pay attention to mobile terminals. They are very convenient and user-friendly, however, they display a limited number of the necessary functions. Mobile versions have fewer indicators, charts and allow you to open and close deals, watch quotes of assets. This is a good option if you don’t have access to your personal computer, for example, when you need to close a deal while being on the move.

Before you start working on any trading platform, it’s a good idea to sample its features and tools. A demo account is the most popular and convenient way to test a terminal. This way, you will avoid the risk of losing real money and will gain valuable experience of working with a trading platform.

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