By Jeffrey Cammack Author Information Updated: September 25, 2020

Metatrader 4 (MT4) is the most popular Forex trading software and is supported by most Forex brokers. While MT5 is gradually replacing it, MT4 is still widely recognised for its trade execution speeds and comprehensive brilliance.

The launch of MT4 in 2005 changed the retail Forex industry almost overnight, it offered Forex traders an institutional-grade tool and put anyone with an internet connection on equal footing with professional Forex traders. 15 years later, MT4 is still the industry standard for several reasons:

In terms of execution speed, MT4 is the lowest-latency platform available, it is also hugely customisable. MQL4, MT4’s freely available scripting language, allows users to build or buy expert advisors (EAs), indicators, and other algorithmic trading tools. MT4 also comes complete with a cutting-edge charting suite offering market charts across multiple timeframes overlaid with indicators from MT4’s library.

MT4’s algorithms and customisable charts allow retail traders to analyse market movements with precision and speed. Trades based on this analysis can then be made in an instant due to the platform’s execution speed. MT4 is available on mobile, tablet, in a web browser and as a downloadable application. This versatility only cements its position and the world’s leading trading platform.

As most brokers offer MT4, we encourage traders to compare Forex brokers by other metrics that relate to your needs as a trader.  This includes comparing trading conditions, regulation, education material, withdrawal terms and fees, and customer service. 

Using these metrics as a guide, our experts created a shortlist of the top MT4 brokers in 2020.

Trading Experience Open/Close
Trading Conditions Open/Close
Account Sizes Open/Close
Trading Platforms Open/Close
Regulators Open/Close
Trading Tools Open/Close
12 matches
Filter Sort by:
Trading Experience Open/Close
Trading Conditions Open/Close
Account Sizes Open/Close
Trading Platforms Open/Close
Regulators Open/Close
Trading Tools Open/Close
  • Broker
    AvaTrade

    AvaTrade  - Best MT4 Broker

    REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    B.V.I FSC B.V.I FSC
    FSA FSA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11111
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    AvaTrade offers full support for MT4, with hedging, scalping and the use of EAs and other trading robots all allowed. AvaTrade's MT4 platform also features the Guardian Angel risk management tool, which delivers feedback on your trading decisions in realtime. This allows you to identify your mistakes, increase your trading knowledge and trade with less risk - helping you develop your own, low-risk trading style. AvaTrade also offers clients with deposits of more than 500 USD access to AutoChartist, a powerful pattern recognition tool which seeks out trading opportunities based on deep technical analysis of markets.

    One of the largest brokers in the world, AvaTrade has regulation from ASIC and the South African FSCA. Trading conditions are uniformly excellent, with a wide range of assets to choose from and spreads starting at 0.9 pips on the EUR/USD and 1.1 pips on the USD/JPY. A minimum deposit of 100 USD is required to open the single account, but higher minimum deposits grant access to a personal account manager, 20% deposit bonus and the DupliTrade copy trading service.

    Pros

    • Good for beginners
    • Well regulated
    • Low minimum deposit

    Cons

    • Dealing desk
    • Limited education
    Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
    Islamic 1.2 pips None Instant USD 100 Account Details
    Professional 0.9 pips None Instant USD 100 Account Details
    Retail 0.9 pips None Instant USD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    FXTM

    FXTM  - Most Internationally Regulated Broker With MT4 Support

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSCA FSCA
    FSC FSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    1110.50
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 10
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Established in 2011 and regulated by both CySEC and the UK’s FCA, FXTM has also held a licence from the South African FSCA since 2016. 

    FXTM offers a wide range of account types, 6 in total, and all are available on the MT4 platform. Leverage is variable but can be raised to 1:1000 on most accounts type. FXTM's accounts are split into two groups: Instant execution accounts and ECN Accounts:

    Instant Execution Accounts: The Cent Account, with a minimum deposit of only 10 USD, has spreads starting from 1.5 pips on the EUR/USD. With a higher minimum deposit of 100 USD you can open a Standard Account, where the spread is down to 1.3 pips on the EUR/USD. FXTM also offers a Shares Account for those interested in trading stocks.

    ECN Accounts: The ECN Zero Account has a 200 USD minimum deposit and minimum spreads of 1.5 pips on the EUR/USD but no commission. A 500 USD minimum deposit will get you access to the ECN Account, which has spreads as low as 0.1 pips on the EUR/USD and a commission of 2 USD per lot. FXTM also offers an ECN Pro Account, though this requires a minimum deposit of 25,000 USD.

    FXTM publishes a shortlist of their favourite indicators for MT4 and has also developed the FXTM Pivot Points Strategy, which integrates popular trading tools in MT4 with a wide range of technical information. Developed by FXTM's Head of Education, the FXTM Pivot Points Strategy is a useful tool for understanding market sentiment and price direction as it relates to support and resistance levels.

    MT4 demo accounts are available for all accounts except the Shares Account and ECN Pro Account, demo accounts are unlimited and only expire after 90 days of inactivity. 

    Pros

    • Good for beginners
    • Excellent education
    • Well regulated
    • Low minimum deposit

    Cons

    • Expensive withdrawals
    Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
    Cent Account 1.5 pips None Instant USD 10 Account Details
    Standard Account 1.3 pips None Instant USD 100 Account Details
    ECN Zero Account 1.5 pips None Market USD 200 Account Details
    ECN Account 0.1 pips $2.00 Market USD 500 Account Details
    FXTM Pro Account 0.0 pips None Market USD 25000 Account Details
  • Broker
    Blackstone Futures

    Blackstone Futures  - Best Trading Platforms

    REGULATED BY
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 1000
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Based in Johannesburg and active since 2009, BlackStone Futures is a well-regarded MT4 broker with FSCA regulation.

    Trading conditions are particularly good for a South African broker, with both ZAR and USD accounts offered. Minimum spreads are as low as 0.6 pips on major pairs and STP execution ensures no conflict of interest and limited slippage or requotes. Maximum leverage is 400:1 but BlackStone Futures responsibly only offers this to experienced traders with a proven track record.

    BlackStone Futures has wisely invested in educating new traders and the educational material available here is of a higher quality than we are used to seeing at local brokers. Both webinars and in-person classes are offered, alongside a collection of guides and educational articles.

    Deposits and withdrawals are fast and free for South African clients, with withdrawals to local bank accounts posting same-day via the OZOW payment platform.

    Overall, BlackStone Futures are a responsible and dependable South African broker with the trading conditions and funding policies to keep all traders satisfied.

    Pros

    • ZAR accounts
    • Tight spreads
    • Fast and free withdrawals

    Cons

    • Limited platform choice
    • Local regulation only
    Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
    USD Account 0.6 pips None Market USD 100 Account Details
    ZAR Account 0.6 pips None Market ZAR 1000 Account Details
  • Broker
    HotForex

    HotForex  - Lowest Trading Costs

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSCA FSCA
    DFSA DFSA
    FSC FSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 70
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    An STP broker with tight spreads and low minimum deposits, HotForex is also extremely well regulated, with oversight from CySEC, the FCA and South Africa’s FSCA. Hotforex offers support for both MT4 and MT5 with a host of tools available for either platform, including free VPS hosting, free access to Autochartist and a collection of Premium Trader Tools such as live sentiment and correlation tracking and tick charts.

    With six different trading accounts, including the market execution Zero Account, traders will be spoiled for choice. Trading conditions at HotForex differ depending on account type, with minimum deposits starting at 70 ZAR on the Micro Account. The Micro, HF Cory, Auto, Premium and Premium Pro accounts have spreads starting at 1.0 pips and leverage starting at 400:1, though this can be increased to 1000:1. The Zero Spread account requires a minimum deposit of 2800 ZAR (200 USD), has a spread starting at 0.0 pips and a cost of 3 USD (6 USD round trip) commission per lot.

    Deposits and withdrawals are free and fast, and we recommend HotForex to new traders due to the high quality of its well-structured educational material and unlimited demo accounts.  Swap-free accounts are available, hedging and scalping are both allowed, and HotForex runs several bonus schemes - including demo account contests and a 2 USD rebate for every lot traded.

    Pros

    • Low minimum deposit
    • Tight spreads
    • Well regulated
    • Good range of accounts

    Cons

    • Limited base currencies
    Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
    Micro 1.0 pips None Market USD 5 Account Details
    Islamic 1.0 pips None Market USD 100 Account Details
    Premium 1.0 pips None Market USD 100 Account Details
    Auto 1.0 pips None Market USD 200 Account Details
    Zero 0.0 pips $3.00 Market USD 200 Account Details
    HFCopy 1.0 pips None Market USD 300 Account Details
    Premium Pro 1.0 pips None Market USD 5000 Account Details
  • Broker
    CM Trading

    CM Trading  - Best Education

    REGULATED BY
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    110.500
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 250
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Active since 2012, CM Trading is an FSCA-regulated South African broker with a large client base. A market-maker broker, CM Trading offers full support for MT4 and hosts a range of trading tools, including the CopyKat copy-trading system and the Guardian Angel automated feedback tool.

    Four account options are available, each with a different level of required minimum deposit - the Bronze Account offers spreads on the EUR/USD of 1.5 pips and can be opened with 250 USD - but all have a maximum leverage of 200:1. The other three accounts require a much higher level of minimum deposit (Silver Account: 1000 USD, Gold Account: 10,000 USD, Premium Account: 25,000 USD) but spreads are tighter with the EUR/USD spread at 0.9 pips on the Gold Account. The higher tier accounts also come with other perks including risk-free trades and personal account managers

    Education and market analysis are basic but customer support is available 24/5 via a range of methods. Deposit and withdrawals are fast for South African customers, though fees for both deposits and withdrawals are quite high. We recommend getting in touch with CM Trading customer support for more information on its fees.

    Pros

    • Good for beginners
    • Great customer support
    • Copy trading accounts

    Cons

    • Expensive withdrawals
    • Local regulation only
    Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
    Bronze 1.5 pips None Instant USD 250 Account Details
    Silver 1.2 pips None Instant USD 1000 Account Details
    Gold 0.9 pips None Instant USD 10000 Account Details
    Premium Not Published pips None Instant USD 25000 Account Details
  • Broker
    XM

    XM  - Most Assets Available

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    IFSC IFSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 5
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    A large and heavily awarded market maker, XM was founded in 2009 and is particularly well-regulated - with oversight from all three major regulators: CySEC, ASIC and the FCA.

    Both the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms are supported with a no re-quotes and no rejection of orders policy and full VPS functionality. Scalping, hedging and algorithmic trading are allowed across a wide range of assets and 57 currency pairs. Be aware that trading individual stocks is only available on MT5.

    XM offers three account types - the Micro, Standard and the XM Ultra Low - with a maximum leverage of 1:888 available on all three. Spreads are tightest on the XM Ultra Low Account, with average spreads on the EUR/USD at 0.7 pips. Spreads on the Micro Account and Standard Account are wider, with EUR/USD spreads usually around 1.6 pips, but minimum deposit on these accounts is only 5 USD, while minimum deposit for the XM Ultra Low is 50 USD. All accounts are available as Islamic accounts, and XM charges no extra fee for this - neither in the spread or in commission. 

    XM has a strong focus on client retention via excellent customer support, a wide range of account types and highly competitive trading conditions. Also notable is the quality and depth of its educational and analytical output and unlimited demo accounts, of which five can be active simultaneously.

     

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Excellent education
    • Wide range of assets
    • Fast and free withdrawals

    Cons

    • Dealing desk
    Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
    Micro 1.0 pips None Instant USD 5 Account Details
    Standard 1.0 pips None Instant USD 5 Account Details
    XM Ultra Low 0.6 pips None Instant USD 50 Account Details
    XM Zero 0.6 pips $7.00 Instant USD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    Exness

    Exness  - Best Trading Conditions

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSC FSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11111
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 1
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Founded in 2008, Exness is a well-regulated broker with tight spreads and unlimited leverage on a specialist zero account.  With both market and instant execution methods and full support for both MT4 and MT5, there is little to find fault with here. Spreads are tighter than most brokers, with average spreads on the EUR/USD down to 0.5 pips and a minimum deposit requirement of just 1 USD on the Micro Account.

    Exness' MT4 support comes with a serious arsenal of tools, including a set of indicators and scripts. Every Exness client is provided with financial news from the world's leading providers and the TC.Technical Analysis indicator from the international analytical agency Trading Central.

    Exceptionally, customer service is available 24/7 and most traders will find something to like from the wide range of account types.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Wide range of assets
    • 24/7 customer service

    Cons

    • Limited education
    • Limited market analysis
    • Unavailable in Europe
    Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
    Standard Cent MT4 0.3 pips None Market USD 1 Account Details
    Standard MT4 0.1 pips None Market USD 1 Account Details
    Standard MT5 0.2 pips None Market USD 1 Account Details
    Pro 0.1 pips None Market USD 200 Account Details
    Raw Spread 0.0 pips $3.50 Market USD 200 Account Details
    Zero pips $3.50 Market USD 200 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    CySEC CySEC
    FSCA FSCA
    DFSA DFSA
    SCB SCB
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    A strictly no dealing desk (NDD) broker, FxPro is known for its fast market execution and first-class international regulation, with oversight from the FCA, CySEC and the South African FSCA.  FxPro offers three account types, depending on which platforms you wish to use. MT4, MT5 and cTrader are all supported, with the cTrader account having the tightest spreads in return for a commission of 4.5 USD per lot traded, while the MT4 and MT5 accounts incorporate the fees in the spread.

    Spreads on the MT4 account are decent, averaging about 1.5 pips on the EUR/USD. The MT4 account is also available with fixed spreads - though these are slightly higher at 1.6 pips. A wide range of account currencies are available, including ZAR, and over 70 currency pairs are available to trade.

    The minimum deposit for all accounts is 100 USD, though FXPro recommends a balance of 500 USD before you start trading, and deposits and withdrawals are fast and free for all funding methods.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Great platform choice
    • Tight spreads

    Cons

    • Limited education
    Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
    FxPro cTrader 0.45 pips $4.50 Market USD 100 Account Details
    FxPro MT4 1.2 pips None Market USD 100 Account Details
    FxPro MT5 1.52 pips None Market USD 100 Account Details
    Islamic 1.2 pips Variable Market USD 100 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 250
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    IG Markets is the world's largest CFD broker by revenue and is our highest-rated broker. A market maker with a single account type for trading Forex, IG Markets offers full support for MT4 with hedging, scalping and trading algorithms all allowed. IG’s custom MT4 package delivers instant access to 18 free add-ons and indicators and its servers boast a 99.99% core platform uptime.

    IG Market's single account has some of the best trading conditions around, with a 250 USD minimum deposit, 200:1 leverage and an average spread on the EUR/USD of 0.7 pips - though this can drop to 0.6 pips. IG Markets offers 68 currency pairs to trade alongside a range of indices, commodities, shares and cryptocurrencies. Deposits and withdrawals are fast and free and no commission is charged on Forex trades (though small commissions are charged when trading shares).

    We always recommend IG Markets for beginner traders due to its excellent selection of educational material and market analysis alongside an unlimited demo account. 

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Great platform choice
    • Excellent education
    • Excellent market analysis

    Cons

    • High minimum deposit
    Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
    Live Account 0.6 pips None Instant USD 250 Account Details
    Spread Betting 0.6 pips None Instant USD 250 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    CySEC CySEC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    FP Markets is an ASIC-regulated, STP broker with two simple account options and interesting trading tools for new clients with higher minimum deposits. The Raw Account offers spreadss down to 0 pips on the EUR/USD and a commission per lot of 3.5 USD. Spreads are still tight on the Standard Account, though fees are included in the spread, and the lack of dealing desk intervention for all accounts removes any concern over conflict of interest. 

    MT4 is fully supported and as part of FP Market's commitment to seamless trading experiences, it offers advanced charting tools, numerous technical indicators, real-time price charts, market news and insights, and a suite of automated trading options. Traders using Expert Advisors (EAs) can take advantage of FP Market’s ultra-fast execution speed. FP Markets has also partnered with the top Forex liquidity providers for deep liquidity and real-time price quotes for a wide range of tradable instruments.

    Trader education and market analysis are slightly weaker than other brokers, but the material presented is well-structured and useful.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Good range of accounts
    • Great customer support

    Cons

    • Expensive withdrawals
    Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
    Standard IRESS N/A pips $10 AUD min, then 0.1% STP USD 1,000 Account Details
    Platinum IRESS N/A pips $9 AUD min, then 0.09% STP USD 25,000 Account Details
    Premier IRESS N/A pips No min, then 0.08% STP USD 50,000 Account Details
    RAW 0.0 pips $3.50 STP USD 100 Account Details
    Standard 1.0 pips None STP USD 100 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11100
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 2000
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Khwezi Trade is a well respected South African broker and it keeps all client funds segregated with Standard Bank, and in ZAR, providing an additional level of security for South African traders.

    Khwezi Trade offers four different account types on the MT4 platform and hedging, scalping and trading robots are all allowed. The minimum deposit on the Basic Account set to 2000 ZAR. The Standard Account requires a minimum deposit of 15,000 ZAR, the Premier Account requires 30,000 ZAR and the VIP Account requires 50,000 ZAR. Spreads are variable on all accounts but average 1.8 pips for the EUR/USD on the Basic Account and are tightest on the VIP Account, where they can reach a minimum of 0 pips. No commission is charged on any account for Forex trading, though a 3 ZAR commission is charged per trade on indices and commodities.

    Deposits and withdrawals are fast and free and Khwezi Trade also offers copy trading functionality for those that prefer it.

    Pros

    • ZAR Accounts
    • Fast and free withdrawals

    Cons

    • Local regulation only
    • No swap-free account option
    Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
    Basic Normal pips None STP ZAR 2000 Account Details
    Standard Competitive pips None STP ZAR 15000 Account Details
    Premier Tight pips None STP ZAR 30000 Account Details
    VIP Institutional pips None STP ZAR 50000 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    IFSC IFSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 5
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    XTB is an award-winning NDD and ECN/STP broker, with simple account choices, a wide variety of asset types for trade and a long track record of offering a fair and secure environment for new traders.

    XTB supports both MT4 and its in-house, award-winning trading platform xStation 5. While xStation 5 offers many of the advanced trading features found in MetaTrader 4, xStation 5 is proprietary to XTB and any EAs or indicators installed on it will not move with you if you switch broker. MetaTrader 4 platform support will be appreciated by professional traders who will have used it in the past with other brokers. It's also useful 

    XTB offers two accounts, a Standard Account with the fees included in the spread and a Pro Account which charges a commission of 5 USD per lot. Spreads are quite low on both accounts, starting at 0.35 pips on the Standard Account (but often averaging much higher) and 0.28 pips on the Pro Account. XTB has a no re-quote policy and negative balance protection to ensure the client never owes the broker more than what has been deposited.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Low minimum deposit
    • Good for beginners

    Cons

    • Limited platform choice
    Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
    Islamic 0.28 pips $10.00 Instant USD 5 Account Details
    Pro 0.28 pips $7.00 Instant USD 5 Account Details
    Standard 0.35 pips None Instant USD 5 Account Details

All Forex Brokers in South Africa

We pride ourselves on giving good advice, and we always put our readers first. When choosing partners, we do our research according to our review process which covers areas such as regulation, trading conditions, and the product offering.

We don't put just anyone up here. We put you first.

To pay the bills, and keep the lights on, we need a business model. That business model makes use of affiliate programs whereby we get a commission from partners featured on our website.

Our business model never influences our opinion of any partner, and the partner selection and review processes are separate. The compensation we receive from partners may affect how our lists are arranged, but the reviews are genuine, and the data is accurate. Our opinion can not be bought, and we always put our readers and their financial livelihoods first.

Open

Advantages of Choosing an MT4 Broker

Best MT4 Brokers

MetaTrader 4 (MT4)  is the most widely used trading platform among retail traders and has been for over 15 years. Available on mobile, tablet, in a web browser and as a downloadable application, MT4’s versatility only cements its position as the world’s premier trading platform.

Before you decide on whether to use an MT4 broker we need to look at the advantages and disadvantages of the MT4 platform.

It’s Free!

Yes, a fairly obvious one here – but a critical point. The platform is completely free of charge. If it wasn’t, we probably would never have seen the growth in retail Forex trading in the 2000s and the industry would be a very different, and more restricted, space.

User-friendly Interface

While the user interface appears dated, the one-click trading, customisable layout, and advanced charting abilities all come together to provide a stable and personalised trading experience, allowing traders can focus on the trading and less on the application.

Advanced Charting Capabilities

MT4 charting capabilities allow traders to combine technical analysis and trade management from within the chart view. The advanced charting helps:

  • Reflect trader priorities and only display the information useful to formulating a trading decision.
  • Make decisions from multiple data sources or charts quickly.
  • Managing multiple accounts trading accounts simultaneously.

MT4 charts do have shortcomings, which have been upgraded on the MT5 platform. MT4 doesn’t allow traders to overlay data on charts, or do studies on top of studies which would help come to more advanced conclusions.

One-Click Trading

One-click trading is available in MT4, so that in fast-moving markets, traders can execute trading decisions quickly. By being able to buy and sell currency pairs with just one click, traders can potentially save time that they would otherwise have lost should they have been using a slower trade execution platform.

Stable Trading Platform

MT4 is the lowest-latency platform available but hosting locations can lead to different trade execution speeds depending on the Internet connection speed. MT4 can either be downloaded to a personal computer or the cloud on a VPS service, but a continuous and stable internet connection is required to ensure proper operation.

If you are going to host the MT4 software on your local machine, you will need to ensure fast connections to the MT4 server via a reliable ISP. Should the connection fail, a trader would not be able to manage open trades, and should the connection be slow the trade execution will be delayed and result in slippage.

As a platform, MT4 it is highly customisable. MT4 has built-in scripting tools allowing for users to build or buy expert advisors (EAs), indicators and other algorithmic trading tools. It is primarily due to the core of the MT4 platform being so well-built that these extensions are made possible, giving the trader full control of the experience, and thus maintaining the legacy of MT4 being the prime choice in trading software.

Portable

We don’t mean it’s available on your phone/tablet, though it certainly is that too. What we mean by portable in this case, is that once you download the platform to your computer, it is yours. If you switch broker, it goes with you. It can also support multiple brokers and multiple accounts from the same broker. As your trading goals and needs change, you can move freely between brokers without worrying about losing any customised changes you made to your version of the platform. And speaking of customisation, that brings us on neatly to…

Expert Advisers

Probably the most popular feature of this platform is its ability to support user-defined Expert Advisors (EAs). Algorithms written in the MQL4 script, EAs are user-defined trading tools that allow traders to automate their trades within set parameters.

Nearly 2000 EAs have been developed by third parties using MQL4 (the language created by MetaQuotes). They are available for rental or purchase through a marketplace section of the MT4 software or from the MQL5 website.

Indicators

Much like EAs, indicators are algorithms made in MQL4. Unlike EAs, indicators will not automate your trades but rather feed you real-time technical analysis – leaving you to make the trading decision manually. There are over 2000 free indicators available in the MetaTrader Code Hube, and hundreds more have been created by the community and can be purchased in the MetaTrader Market.

Trading Signals

Another automation feature of the MT4 platform is its social trading integration which is available with a free subscription. Trading signals let you to automatically copy the trades of other individuals, rather than using an automated trading EA, which uses market data to make trading decisions.

Select trading accounts will also include free signals which can be shown into MT4, or traders have access to a large selection of commercial signal providers via the signal tab of the trading platform. It is common for traders to subscribe to a large assortment of signal providers, and only act on the signals that suit their strategy.

Security

MT is also famous for its security – all information between client and server is 128-bit encrypted, and it also supports RSA Digital Signatures.

Widespread Use

It is almost fifteen years old and is still the industry standard. Most brokers will offer it, and it is incredibly well supported – if you have a question, someone will have answered it – if you have a problem, someone will have solved it. There are many thousands of people who know the platform inside and out, and many of them have made videos or tutorials for pretty much every aspect of it. For beginners and experienced traders alike, this is a great advantage.

Not Resource/Bandwidth Intensive

Because of its age, it runs smoothly on all modern computers and will be happy on even ageing systems. Many proprietary platforms run in a browser, and system resource issues can occur, slowing down or crashing the platform – this is not ideal as seconds really can count in Forex trading. None of these issues exists with MetaTrader 4, even on your old laptop.

Disadvantages of Using an MT4 Broker

MT4 is Old!

Yes, it looks like a program from 2005. If you are looking for something aesthetically pleasing this is not your platform – but if you are that concerned with how your platform appears then maybe you should re-examine your trading priorities.

MT4 Doesn’t Really Like Macs

While MT4 can run on Macs with a few tweaks, it will only run on Mac Os versions prior to Catalina (version 10.15, released in 2019). Catalina only supports 64bit applications and as MT4 is a 32bit application, it is not compatible. For earlier versions of Mac OS, the safest way of getting MT4 to run is to install a Windows emulator called Wine (a tool for Unix-based systems to run an application developed for Windows) along with fonts and the graphical interface. Wine is a great tool, but not necessarily the most stable and your experience can suffer as a result.

No News-Feed Integration

It lacks the integration of news and economic data.  On more modern platforms such as MT5, traders can keep updated with the latest news affecting exchange rates without having to leave the platform.

What is the difference between MT4 and MT5?

MetaQuotes released the latest version of Metatrader (Metatrader 5 or MT5) in 2010. There are several essential differences between the two, but the significant functional change is that MT5 has native support for shares, futures, and commodity trading, whereas MT4 does not. MT5 also boasts a cleaner interface and comes with an integrated news feed and more charting capabilities.

MT5 also has a new scripting language, MQL5, which allows for more rigorous backtesting of algorithms and more advanced trading robots. Additionally, MT5 is finally seeing serious support from the industry, with some ditching MT4 entirely in favour of the newer version.

It is important to note that trading algorithms built for MT4 will not run in MT5 (and vice versa) due to the incompatibility of their scripting languages.

Which MT4 broker is best?

AvaTrade is the best MT4 broker. With excellent MT4 technical support for beginners, both FSCA and ASIC regulation and competitive trading conditions, they have the product offering to come top of a long list of MT4 brokers.

Conclusion

MetaTrader 4 is central for so many traders in their development towards becoming professional traders. It will be here for many years to come and will continue to help new traders launch a trading career. If you’re trying to get the most out of your charts and focus without the distraction of fancy tools, then it remains a candidate to satisfy 90% of all your trading needs.

If you’re interested in learning all trading features that this platform has to offer, please check out our complete guide to MetaTrader 4.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 

Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Over-leveraging, unpredictable market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection for clients.

Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more from the FCA or from ASIC)

Our Methodology

Our State of the Market Report and Broker Directory are the result of extensive research on over 100 Forex brokers. The explicit goal of these resources is to help traders find the best Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones – with the benefit of accurate and up-to-date information.

With over 150 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research and review writing, we believe we have succeeded in our goal. 

In a world where trading conditions and customer support can vary based on where you live, our broker reviews focus on the local trader and give you information about these brokers from your perspective.

All research has been conducted by our in-house team of researchers and writers, gathering information from various company representatives, websites and by sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers

Stay updated

This form has double opt in enabled. You will need to confirm your email address before being added to the list.

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
>