Platforms and Brokers

About Platforms and Brokers

Many traders are curious about what’s the best software on the trading platform. This is one of the main issues a trader wants to know when starting on a Forex journey. This is particularly true in the current times, as there is a great deal of tech rivalry. Trading platforms like MetaTrader don’t just restrict you to foreign exchange–you can trade a variety of other financial instruments including CFDs, precious metals, commodities, and more. 

A customer-centred broker makes these cutting-edge platforms available for free download and provides you with any technical or practical support you might need to succeed. This guide explains what Trading platforms and brokers are, discusses the leading brokers and trading platforms in the UK and how to use them.

What Is a Forex Trading Platform ?

A trading platform is software used to trade: open, close and control market positions via a financial intermediary like an online broker. Brokers also offer online trading platforms for free or at a discount rate in return for maintaining a supported account and/or making a particular number of trades monthly. The best trading trading platforms provide a blend of robust features and low fees. Trading platforms are two types: prop platforms and commercial platforms. 

Commercial sites, as their name suggests, retail investors and target day traders. They are distinguished by ease-of-use and a range of useful features like news feeds and charts for investor education and research. On the other hand, prop platforms are customized platforms built by large brokerages to match their specific needs and trading style. Traders use various trading platforms depending on their style and volume.

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What Are the Best Trading Platforms ?

Forex trading platforms are electronic trading software applications which give investors access to the foreign exchange market. They can be used to manage, close and open trades from the device of your choice and contain a variety of timelines, indicators, and tools designed to enable you to monitor and analyze real-time markets. 

Many traders are often curious about what’s the best software on the trading platform. This is one of the main issues a trader wants to know when he starts his Forex journey. This is particularly true in the current times, as there is a great deal of tech rivalry. Trading platforms like MetaTrader don’t just restrict you to foreign exchange–you can trade a variety of other financial instruments including CFDs, precious metals, commodities, and more. 

A customer-centred broker makes these cutting-edge platforms available for free download and provides you with any technical or practical support you might need to succeed.

MetaQuotes Platforms

Most brokers will supply you with different trading platforms when it comes to trading FX online, however, the most common ones are the MetaTrader platforms. Ten years ago, this software was developed. MetaQuotes Corp-MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 offer two primary options for the trading platform.

MetaTrader 4 is an FX trading platform designed specifically for FX trading. Since retail Forex is a comparatively new industry, robust third-party applications had not been accessible until MetaTrader 4 emerged. 

This is a robust trading platform that offers a lot of useful features to traders, including nine different time-frames, multi charting, limit orders, pending orders, over fifty indicators, a plethora of expert advisors, and 1-click trading. 

Those are just a few of MetaTrader 4’s benefits. The longevity is among the key selling points. You can rely on this platform, really. In addition to this, a strong range of mobile apps is also supplied. Such apps are available for almost every form of OS, including iOS, Android and Windows. It goes without saying that these mobile platforms are very stable and powerful too.

Nevertheless, sometimes you may note that some brokers provide wider spreads on the MetaTrader4 platform compared to the narrower spreads they may provide through their major trading platform unless the broker concerned provides multiple trading platforms for trading on.

Very similar to MetaTrader 4, this is one of the best platforms for Forex trading. MetaTrader 5 is generally slightly quicker, embraces more order types, comes with a greater number of indicators and has some additional features. While it’s a better platform, there are no major, groundbreaking differences that can turn MetaTrader 4 into a redundant trading platform. 

What’s nice about MetaTrader 5 is that it can accommodate a larger number of trading tools compared to MetaTrader 4, for both traders and brokers.

Although MetaTrader 5 is identical to MetaTrader 4, there are certain advantages it has that other forex trading platforms simply do not have. MetaTrader 5, for example, does have:

  • The trader can view about twenty-one timeframes. This includes eleven types of minute charts including M3, M1, M2, and so on; seven types of hourly charts like H3, H2, H1, and so on, as well as monthly, weekly, and daily charts. Most systems, like MetaTrader 4, only have 9 timeframes.
  • Six types of orders pending, including sell-stop-limit, buy-stop-limit, sell-limit, buy-limit, sell-stop, buy-stop and orders. Typically MetaTrader 4, as well as other platforms, give the first 4 versions of pending orders.
  • The capacity to switch from hedging mode to netting mode. Hedging mode allows trading ability in opposing positions and it has helped improve Forex traders ‘ trading options.
  • The DOM (Depth of Market) feature also enables Forex traders to display the bids and offers of a financial tool at various prices.

Using  the MetaTrader platforms comes down to creating an account, installing your software, setting up the right indicators and navigation tools, and trading to generate profits.

MetaTrader can be broken down visually into six separate segments:

Market Watch: It contains a list of currency pairs, including bidding and pricing. 

Control Ribbon: From this bar, you can basically perform any action on MetaTrader platform.

Terminal Window: Where to get info about your trading terminal such as notifications, messages, trading history,access, and open orders.

Chart Workspace: This section is where charts are shown and trading analyses are conducted.

Standard: It includes general platform commands.

Toolbar: It contains essential resources, options, and  functions to master MT4. The toolbar is divided into four regions:

Navigator: You can work through the indicators that can be included in your maps.

Charts: It contains simple charts functionality.

Timeframes: It acts as a simple menu to adjust chart timescales.

Line Studies: You’ll find all the charts ‘ graphical elements here.

The trading platform ProRealTime is a software developed by IT-Finance in France for the technical analysis. The application is unique in that it’s a web-based program backed up on the cloud network of the company. 

The platform also provides a variety of advanced analytical and charting and tools and the ability to create personalized trading strategies and market scanners using their language of ProRealCode. 

Users, however, have to pay for a software license to use the application. Furthermore, there are extra charges for accessing company data in real-time.

Using ProrealTime

You can use the options menu to configure the toolbar, or just right-click the toolbar itself. The table window lets you view and customize an instrument map, incorporating indicators for technical analysis, trading systems and trend lines. 

The Trading module allows you to place an order straight through the maps, the order books, and your lists. Trading interface is also fully customizable. 

The ProBuilder module allows you to build personal indicators. The efficient code editor can be used to build indicators as well as import and export them, enabling you to share them. 

The Backtesting module will build and check your own trading systems. Using this app, you can see the equity curve of your program, detailed reports, histograms and orders on the chart. 

Trading systems can be built using the supported development wizard, or direct programming, without writing a single line of code. You can also export your trading systems.

Spotware has established’ cTrader’ in recent years as a competitive trading platform. Even though the platform provides trading functionality and advanced charting similar to the MetaTrader platform:, there are certain differences

  • Since MetaTrader is one of the best-known auto-trading platforms, it has a huge online audience which shares novel indicators and techniques. This also makes it much easier for the MetaTrader platforms to receive support on the Internet, while support for the auto-trading capabilities of cTrader may be limited.

  • CTrader does not allow modifying indicators and limits the use of third-party programs. On the other hand, MetaTrader excels on the web as it is fully customizable.

  • MetaTrader comes equipped with functionalities including signal trading  functionality, real-time market news, and an economic calendar, while cTrader has no such features.

Because this platform is accessible through a web browser until recently there has not been a great emphasis on mobile app growth. Now cTrader is only available for iOS and Android devices. While most traders are likely shielded by this, it hinders those who use a Windows phone. MT 4 and 5 are surely the best mobile trading platforms in Forex.

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What is a Forex Broker ?

Forex brokers are companies that provide a forum for buying and selling foreign currencies. In this market, trades are always between 2 different currencies, therefore forex traders can buy or sell the pair they want to exchange. Forex brokers could also be known as retail forex brokers, or currency brokers. 

Many foreign exchange broker firms manage a very limited portion of the total foreign exchange market share. Retail currency traders employ these brokers to enter the twenty-four-hour currency market for speculation. Major firms including investment banks also provide Forex broker services to institutional clients.

Best Forex Brokers

Controlled and reliable internationally, IG provides traders with a comprehensive list of tradable items, outstanding trading and analysis technology, industry-leading education and competitive rates. The excellent all-round experience makes IG the best broker overall. Retail forex and CFD traders will find that IG is a fantastic choice for those looking for trusted exposure to almost any market. 

IG offers over 17,000 tradable products, whether you invest in exchange-traded instruments through multiple international markets or want to trade forex. In 2020, IG finished Best in Class across an incredible ten categories, including Overall, Trust Score, Crypto Trading, Mobile Trading, Platform & Technology, Commissions & Fees, Investment Offering, and Education. 

IG was founded in 1974 as an early pioneer in offering difference contracts (CFDs) and spreading betting, and has evolved to be a global leader in online trading. IG is a public corporation based in London listed on the FTSE 250 of the London Stock Exchange (LON: IGG). 

IG offers traders access to trade in more than 16,000 products across multiple equities, including forex, CFDs on shares, cryptocurrencies, bonds, indices, ad commodities, securities,and allows access to other international markets, including exchange traded shares through its controlled offerings. IG serves approximately 130,000 active customers worldwide, handling about 350,000 transactions every day across its regulated organizations in the UK and internationally.

Founded in 2008, Plus500 is listed publicly on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: PLUS) and is included in the FTSE 250 index. The broker serves CFD and Forex traders through its regulated subsidiaries holding licenses in major financial hubs including UK, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Singapore. 

Plus500 provides more than 2,000 tradable goods on bonds, indices, commodities, ETFs, options and digital assets, including forex pairs and CFDs. Customers at Plus500 can choose between web-based and mobile trading platforms to trade their product offering. Know more about Plus500, on Wikipedia. For less experienced traders, Plus500 can be an ideal choice as the platform is easy to find out and designed to make the trading experience simple throughout. 

Plus500 finished Best in Class over three categories in 2020, including Beginners, Trust Score, and Ease of Use. That being said, consumer education resources are often excluded from the Plus500 offering, and the available trading platforms are very light compared with the competitors of Plus500. 

With more than two thousand CFDs available, including Fifty forex pairs, plus a low average deposit to open a live account, Plus500 offers new market entrants a simple way to test the world of online forex trading and CFD trading.

Established in 1983, City Index is a regional CFD and FX broker. City Index is GAIN’s brand name, listed on the New York Stock Exchange. 

The firm is governed by top financial authorities such as Singapore Monetary Authority (MAS),  Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) or Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

City Index is considered safe because it has a long track record, is controlled by top financial authorities and is listed on a stock exchange.

Multi-asset traders confidently select City Index for attractive spreads, efficient customer service, excellent platform options, and quality research tools, all under the support of GAIN Capital, one of the world’s largest retail brokers.

City Index pros and cons

City Index charges small CFDs when trading forex or stock index. Non-trading costs, including withdrawal fees, are also low. Account opening is fast and smooth, and you can use high-quality, versatile research tools when you start trading. 

City Index only contains forex and CFDs. High stock CFD fees and the online trading platform is not considered user-friendly.


  • Low fees for forex and index CFDs
  • Fast and smooth account opening
  • Diverse research tools


  • Limited product portfolio
  • High stock CFD fees

Not user-friendly desktop platform

FXTM or ForexTime was founded in 2011 and is a global CFD and FX broker. It is regulated by several financial authorities, including the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

FXTM is considered safe because it is regulated by the top-tier FCA.

FXTM pros and cons

FXTM customer service provides fast, relevant answers. They can be contacted in many languages. You can use many educational tools, including live webinars and a demo account. Account opening is fast and digital. 

FXTM has high CFD fees for the stock. It also charges a fee for inactivity and, mainly, a fee for withdrawal. The product portfolio is limited, lacking some asset classes such as mutual funds, bonds, ETFs, etc.

Although its range of tradable markets is limited and pricing is just average for daily trading, FXCM allows for many styles of traders. Algorithmic traders, high-volume traders, and in general, traders who trust robust trading tools alongside professional market research should consider FXCM a good fit.


  • Great customer service
  • superb educational features
  • Fast and digital account opening


  • Product portfolio is limited
  • High stock CFD fees
  • Withdrawal and Inactivity fees

Pepperstone is an Australian forex trader offering many CFDs as well. Founded in 2010 it opened a London office in 2015 to serve its European customers better. 

Pepperstone is considered safe as it is regulated by two top financial institutions,the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)  and the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom (FCA).

Pepperstone pros and cons

The forex and stock index fees on Pepperstone are small. Customer service offers timely and sensitive responses. Withdrawal and deposit procedures are user-friendly, and most of the time free. 

Pepperstone offers perfect conditions for anyone interested in making a profit scalping the currency market. The Razor account is perfect for it, with a cost of only 3.5 USD per lot and very wide spreads no matter what market conditions. An additional benefit when you transact with Pepperstone is that they have a range of great social trading features that allow you to learn from others. You will have a option between the renowned Razor account and the standard Pepperstone account while trading here. 

The choice of account will come with all the best available trading platforms in the industry. You’ll have available MT4, MT5, and cTrader. 

Another appealing aspect for scalpers is the fact that Pepperstone spreads start from 0 pips and the broker’s active trading system would likely attract more seasoned or high volume traders.

On the flipside, Pepperstone has only a small range of products, as it provides only cryptocurrencies, CFD equity index, and forex. The quality of their news feeds is low, and basic data are not received. Finally, investor security for clients outside the EU does not exist.


  • Low equity index CFD and forex fees
  • Stellar customer care service
  • Free and seamless withdrawal and deposit


  • Only Crypto, CFDs and forex are offered
  • No important data, only basic news is provided
  • Non-EU clients are not adequately protected

Final Thoughts

When choosing an online stock broker you need to consider your immediate investor needs. Are you a commencer? Perhaps you need a broker that has great stock market educational material. 

Do you have only a small sum of money that you can set away to invest? Some online brokers make small minimum deposits possible which can be a fantastic option for those with tight budgets. Do you always need a robust mobile platform, on the go? 

Some online brokers have amazing mobile apps that deliver almost all of the features their desktop counterparts do. The difference between trading and investing is another important thing to consider. When people speak about investing they typically mean purchasing assets that are to be kept for a long period of time. 

On the other hand, trading most often involves the purchase and sale of assets within short periods. Trading is commonly seen as more dangerous than saving. Before choosing an online broker, all those considerations must be considered.