In forex trading, MetaTrader is often known as the standard because many use it and almost all brokers provide it. What makes MetaTrader platforms so popular?
In order to trade, you need a trading platform. For years, the most popular trading platform that is most commonly used by forex traders is MetaTrader 4 and 5, which were released in 2005 and 2010 respectively by MetaQuotes.
MetaTrader 4 is often seen as the "standard" platform that is suitable for any type of trader and provides almost all of the necessary tools for trading. Meanwhile, MetaTrader 5 was designed to reach a broader target user, not only forex traders. The platform has several upgrades from its predecessor along with a wider ion of assets and uses more advanced technology. However, due to the extreme popularity of MetaTrader 4, the replacement never really worked out. Today, they run together side by side and continue to dominate the market.
Why MetaTrader is So Popular
Due to their popularity, MetaTrader 4 and 5 are now licensed by almost every broker throughout the world. Even the ones that never used to offer MT4 before are somehow "forced" to introduce the platform to their clients because of the high demand. It has become almost a necessity for a good broker to offer a MetaTrader platform. If they don't, they might lose potential clients to their competitors who offer the platform.
Now the big question is, what makes MetaTrader 4 and 5 super popular? What makes them different from any other platform?
1. It's Easy to Use
The first thing that stands out the most about MetaTrader 4 and 5 compared to other platforms is that both are very easy to use, even for beginners. When traders go live, they would typically expect to win the trade and go home with an enormous profit. But, keeping the trades consistently profitable in itself is hard enough for any trader let alone having to do that while using a complicated platform. Therefore, trading in a user-friendly platform is vital and can actually improve the trader's performance.
This is something that MetaQuotes seem to understand very well. The company has removed all the unnecessary complexities from the platform, yet still provides all the important tools needed for trading. All vital information such as charts, indicators, and prices can be accessed in a few simple clicks.
If we take a look at the platform's interface, it's also very easy to navigate. We've got the symbols and rates on the left, the charts on the right, and the indicators along with other functions at the top. It won't take long for traders to memorize such placements.
Furthermore, in MT4 and MT5, you'll find that there are various shortcuts and alternative pathways to execute certain functions. For example, if you want to place a New Order on the platform, you can do it in three different ways. It means that the platform is flexible and suitable for a wide variety of users.
At the heart of the platform's appeal is the feature itself. A good platform must be functional to start with and able to provide all the necessary tools for trading. In this case, MT4 and MT5 offer a wide range of tools that is not limited to certain types of traders.
First of all, the MT4 and MT5 platforms offer a good variety of assets and it's possible to trade in multiple markets at once. You can trade forex pairs, CFDs on indices, stocks, and commodities all in one place. You can also trade cryptocurrency pairs as CFDs, although this feature is still not perfect and may not be available in all brokers.
There are at least 40 built-in technical indicators included in the platform. From online quotes to interactive charts, traders can enjoy using past and real-time data to execute orders in a short time. MetaTrader also has the News bar in the Terminal window that allows users to get updates on real-time market news. Some of the news can be really helpful for traders as it can affect market dynamics.
Another interesting feature is the interactive charts, which allow users to study the market and analyze the assets before trading. You can also check the Market and Code Base tab in the Terminal window to connect to the MQL community if you want to purchase scripts, indicators, or expert advisors. These extra plugins can be bought directly from the platform by using your account balance.
MT4 is also one of the first platforms that introduced the concept of social trading, which means allowing you to connect with other traders and automatically copy their strategies. While this idea is not purely invented by MetaTrader, but the platform allows users to subscribe to specific signals and only copy the ones that are relevant to them.
Apart from that, there are several other useful things that you can find on the platform (some of them are only in MT5), such as:
- Access to the Economic Calendar, which shows almost every major economic news from various countries.
- Fund transfers between multiple accounts belonging to the same trader.
- Connection to the embedded MetaTrader community.
- Ability to have just a portion of your orders filled.
- Use of the "fill or kill" function to avoid slippage.
3. High Reliability
Due to their popularity, we can see that MetaTrader 4 and 5 are extremely reliable. The platforms have been used and tested by hundreds of thousands of traders worldwide for many years and they still stand as the leading platforms right now. It proves that the profitability of using these platforms is high and they're a great choice overall. Not only that, but the platforms don't require high-end devices or super-fast internet connection to operate well, making them more accessible to all traders.
4. Automated Trading
MetaTrader platforms are also known to be the first platforms that allow users to use forex robots to open and close orders automatically. The best part is that the programming languages and interfaces are customized for the platforms directly. So, you won't need to install new software or register on another platform to use it. You can manage the robot directly from the platform. This is particularly useful whenever there's an unexpected need for robot adjustment or debugging.
5. Available on Various Devices
Flexibility is also one of the most obvious benefits of MT4 and MT5. In this case, both platforms are available across various devices. You can access the platform from PC/desktop (original design), internet browser, and mobile phones (Android and iPhone). On top of that, the platform also has a Multi trader or multiple account management features, which enables users to work simultaneously across several devices by using a single account. This way, you can simply set up your trades from your PC, monitor it from your mobile phone, and perhaps close the trade from your browser. With such compatibility, you won't miss a single opportunity in the market.
6. The Use of VPS
Last but not least is the Virtual Private Server (VPS). You can lease a VPS for a small monthly fee or get a free one from your broker. By using a VPS, you will be able to run the MT4 platform remotely on the VPS server. As a result, the automated trading feature will be run instantly. The operation is also very secure because the trading platform has a secure data center supported by IT experts at all times.
As MetaTrader platforms, we can see that MT4 and MT5 are popular for many reasons. It's not surprising that these two platforms are able to maintain their glory until now when it doesn't look like it will be challenged anytime soon. Traders can enjoy a bunch of advantages including high security, a stable server, and many impressive tools. On top of it all, the good stuff is available for free to any trader.
Generally speaking, MetaTrader 4 and 5 are the safest trading platforms to choose from, especially when it comes to reliability and service quality. Both platforms have been tested by many users over the years and received many positive reviews.
But even so, it's important to note that each trader has different goals and trading styles. Make sure to try the platform first and see if it has all the things you need for trading.
The importance of MetaTrader is so interconnected with brokers that some of them start to vary their account types based on the MetaTrader platforms they're offering. One notable example is Admiral Markets and its Trade.MT5 vs Zero.MT5 accounts.