The ForexBrokers.com annual forex broker review (six years running) is the most cited in the industry. With over 50,000 words of research across the site, we spend hundreds of hours testing forex brokers each year. Here’s how we test.
Having used MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) for more than a decade, I wanted to create a comprehensive guide for traders. In this guide, I will break down the best brokers for MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, and answer the most common questions about the trading platform.
This guide starts with basics that will help beginners and then progresses to more advanced topics, such as social copy trading and using automated trading systems.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 65% and 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Best MetaTrader (MT4) Brokers
– Best overall for MetaTrader
– MetaTrader suite, excellent trading tools
– Full MetaTrader suite, highly competitive pricing
– MetaTrader suite, average pricing
– MetaTrader suite with add-ons
– MetaTrader suite, add-ons, excellent pricing
– MetaTrader suite, great pricing for higher balances
MetaTrader 4 Brokers List
Here is a list of forex brokers that offer MetaTrader 4: Admiral Markets, ACY Securities, ADS Securities, AvaTrade, BDSwiss, BlackBull Markets, City Index, CMC Markets, Capital.com, Darwinex, Dukascopy, easyMarkets, Eightcap, ETX Capital, Forex.com, FP Markets, FXCM, FxPro, HYCM, HotForex, IC Markets, IG, KVB Kunlun, LegacyFX, Markets.com, OANDA, OctaFX, Pepperstone, Saxo Bank, Swissquote, Tickmill, TMGM, TopFX, Trade Nation, Trade 360, Vantage, VT Markets, XM Group, and XTB.
What is an MT4 broker?
Any broker that offers the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading software can be considered an MT4 broker. MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) belong to a suite of trading platforms developed by MetaQuotes Software Corp. for mobile, web, and desktop computers.
A forex broker simply needs a proper license from the developer in order to offer MT4 to you as a customer. However, some forex brokers that offer MT4 may lack proper regulation in the countries in which they operate, thus it is important to only choose trustworthy MT4 brokers. See how we evaluate brokers’ trustworthiness.
Is MetaTrader 4 a broker?
No. MetaTrader 4 is a third-party trading platform that connects to a broker for forex trading. MetaTrader 4 is the most popular third-party platform for trading forex. MT4 alternatives do exist, and cTrader is an example of another popular trading platform.
In addition to offering MetaTrader, some brokers also build their own custom in-house trading platforms. Based on assessing 39 brokers in our 2022 Review, the best forex brokers also offer proprietary platforms.
Can you trade on MetaTrader 4 without a broker?
You can’t place any real trades within the MetaTrader 4 platform (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5) unless you open a live account with a supporting broker. If you select a broker’s server name from the dropdown menu when logging in (this applies to the version of the software downloaded directly from the developer), you can open an account with the broker of your choice and access live rates on the MT4 or MT5 versions of Metatrader.
MetaTrader does offer the use of a free demo account, which many traders may use without connecting with a forex broker for conducting technical analysis on historical rates — but this won’t include access to any live trading capabilities or updated market rates.
Choose the right broker for you that offers MT4 or MT5, and then download its version of the platform to use for demo or live trading directly from the broker’s website.
MetaTrader Platforms Comparison
Using data from our forex broker comparison tool, here’s a comparison of the MetaTrader platforms offered by the best MT4 brokers.
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Who created MetaTrader?
Founded in 2000, MetaQuotes Software Corp is the developer of MetaTrader4 (MT4) and MetaTrader5 (MT5) software. The MetaTrader suite, which is licensed by brokers and offered to traders, is one of the most widely-used trading platforms for retail forex and CFDs trading globally.
How many MT4 brokers are there?
MetaQuotes Software does not release any figures that reveal the number of brokers that use MT4. That being said, our research found that there are at least 3,006 (counted on mobile) MetaTrader 4 (MT4) servers, and an even larger number of MetaTrader 5 (MT5) servers globally. The number of actual brokers will be fewer than the number of servers, as many brokers will offer multiple servers in order to cater to different groups of clients and across various locations.
For example, a given broker may maintain one server in London and another in Australia, or a different server for each of their account types. IC Markets alone has dozens of servers, and it’s no surprise they are the largest MetaTrader broker by volume in 2022.
How do I get a broker for MetaTrader?
We spent three months testing 39 different forex and CFDs brokers, then compiled a list of the best MetaTrader 4 brokers. Our top pick for 2022, 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.
How do I set up a broker on MetaTrader 4?
To log in successfully to your MT4 broker you must follow these steps:
- Download the software from the broker of your choice or directly from the developer’s website.
- After opening a demo or live MetaTrader 4 account with your broker, make a note of the login credentials and broker server name.
- Enter or select the broker’s server name when logging into the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) software (desktop, web, or mobile).
- Use the login credentials that were emailed or shown to you during step two.
What is the difference between MT4 and MT5?
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. With MT4, backtesting must be done locally or through a virtual private server, or VPS.
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.
Does MetaTrader 4 cost money?
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).
Does MetaTrader 4 take commission?
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.
Does MetaTrader support copy 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.
Does MetaTrader support automated trading systems?
Yes. Expert Advisors, or EAs, are used in the MT4 and MT5 platforms to run automated trading systems. 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.
Most EAs have a range of customizable parameters that let users specify the position size and risk/reward-related attributes, among other elements, that may be configured before automated trading is enabled.
Does MetaTrader support developers?
Today, MT4 and MT5 have extensive documentation, codebase, and articles to help developers create algorithmic trading systems. The MetaQuotes Language (MQL) syntax enables programmers to create automated scripts and 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.
Does MetaTrader support backtesting?
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).
What are the risks of backtesting?
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.e., run it multiple times over the past three months of EUR/USD tick data) on purpose, which can lead to curve-fitted results.
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.
Is automated trading with MetaTrader risky?
Yes. 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 problem with automated strategies is that they rely on the benefit of hindsight bias. 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.
Here are several tips to help you select a good automated trading strategy:
- Research and learn the trading methodology (strategy) the expert advisor follows for its automated strategy.
- Backtest the strategy across multiple instruments/timeframes, if possible, and examine its historical performance (if available).
- Compare the subscription cost and historical performance to similar automated strategies.
- Once you decide on a strategy, test the strategy with a small amount of capital first, then slowly increase your investment size over time.
Who is the best broker for MT4?
The best MetaTrader 4 brokers in 2022 are based on our assessment of the retail forex industry conducted during our 6th annual review of the best online forex brokers.
- IC Markets – Best overall for MetaTrader
- Admiral Markets – Excellent trading tools for MetaTrader
- FP Markets – Full MetaTrader suite, competitive pricing
- FxPro – MetaTrader suite, average pricing
- Pepperstone – MetaTrader suite with add-ons
- CMC Markets – MetaTrader suite, excellent pricing
- Vantage – MetaTrader suite, great pricing for higher balances
IC Markets is our top pick for best MT4 broker overall in 2022. 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.
Is MetaTrader 4 only for trading forex?
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.
What are “Expert Advisors” in MetaTrader?
When using MetaTrader platforms, such as MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5), there are automated trading systems known as Expert Advisors (EAs), or Experts for short. 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.
Here’s a summary of the best forex brokers for MetaTrader.
ForexBrokers.com 2022 Overall Rankings
In addition to our top seven brokers for MetaTrader, here are the Overall rankings for all 39 online brokers who participated in our 2022 Annual Review, sorted by Overall ranking.
- Best Forex Brokers for Copy Trading
- Best Forex Brokers for Beginners
- Best Forex Brokers for 2022
- Compare Forex Brokers
For our 2022 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 39 international forex brokers over a three-month time period resulting in over 50,000 words of published research.
Each broker was graded on 113 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 .1% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
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.
Can You Trade Forex Without Mt4
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