Written by: Ben Morratt
Forex Trading Guru
Staff Expert

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Forex Platforms

When it comes to Forex trading platforms there are many different types as each broker builds theirs on a specific software. This allows them to choose functionality, layout and the features that their website will offer. Understanding a Forex platform and how it works is not easy. Many of you will base your decision on how it looks and feels but, like a car, you need to know what is under the bonnet.

What powers these platforms and what differentiates them? Why can one offer something that another can't? As you get more familiar with trading you may start to get a better understanding of each one is capable of. From the outset when choosing a broker this can be a difficult task especially if you are new to trading.

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So how do you choose the best Forex trading platform? What do you need to look out for and what should you avoid? To help you understand which ones offers the best trading experiences we do the hard work for you. Our job is to research and review the various Forex brokers so that we can present you with the top rated examples.

How do you establish which is the best platform for trading? In this guide you will discover:

  • The different types of trading platforms that exist when it comes to Forex
  • How to choose the best platform for your trading style and personality
  • How we rate and review each of the individual brokers and show you the best

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Your capital may be at risk
Risk Warning: The trading products offered by the companies listed on this website carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never trade money that you cannot afford to lose.

Different Platform Types

To begin with, it is important to understand the fundamental differences and why the platforms are so different and what we mean by different platform types. Firstly, there are two types of Forex currency trading software. There is the generic type that a Forex broker uses to build a platform on. This is often used by many Forex brokers and is simpler, more cost effective and easier to maintain. Then there is the proprietary software which is unique to the developer and developed by their own team of specialists.

  • MetaTrader 4 and 5 for web - This software has some limitations but is widely regarded in the industry as perhaps the best Forex software. The developer can make slight tweaks to make it suitable for their platform in appearance but the functionality remains the same
  • MetaTrader for mobile - Follows the same principle as the web based platform but MetaTrader for mobile allows the broker to offer an app for phones, tablets and both iOS and Android
  • Proprietary software - For brokers that prefer more independence and choice, they will design their own proprietary software, giving them full control of what it does and allowing them to make changes as and when necessary. Check it provides all the basic elements of Forex trading and more

As traders, it can be difficult to know which of these platforms will best suit your trading requirements until you try them. Using a no deposit bonus or a demo platform will allow you to test them for yourself before you make the decision.

How to Choose a Platform

There will be many factors that come into play when it comes to deciding which platform to choose. For some the most important factor is ease of use, functionality, navigation and mobile compatibility. If these boxes aren't ticked then the broker will struggle to attract users. Of course there are so many other things to consider. How many currency pairs can you trade in for a start? With some companies there are limitations as to how many pairs you can trade on.

When it comes to choosing a very useful feature is a demo. A demo platform or demo account means that you can practice on or test the software before you start live trading. Then there is cost. What is the deposit required and the minimum trade amount? Are withdrawals and deposits straight forward? So many questions that need to be answered. When the broker uses a popular software like Meta Trader 4 then you will see a lot of similarities between the various brokers.

Now of course as you become more experienced with trading then there will be more features that you become interested in. Charts and data are important to many traders. The way the charts and graphics are displayed and how useful the information is depends on the platform. When you become more familiar with Forex trading you will start to recognise the key differences in the platforms.

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Your capital may be at risk
Risk Warning: The trading products offered by the companies listed on this website carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never trade money that you cannot afford to lose.

Quick Platform Use Tips

Whilst we have reviewed and rated the various brokers for you to bring you the best, there are some pointers we can give you when it comes to using the platforms.

Practice Using The Demo

As most Forex brokers offer a demo account it is important that you take advantage of this. The demo is the best way to get to grips with a Forex platform and check that you find it easy to use, navigate and that it is compatible with your mobile device. Many brokers offer a demo account without the need to make a deposit, this gives you the opportunity to test more than one before making your decision.

Check The Software

Once you have selected your shortlist of possible brokers, if you want to know what software it is built on then you can simply search for it. By doing a little research you should be able to find out if the platform is built on a popular software or a proprietary type.

Read Our Expert Reviews

Of course you will see the various recommended brokers on the pages of our site. If you visit our brokers section you will be able to read about each broker and a little bit about the platform and features that they offer. This information ranges from their mobile compatibility to whether they offer a demo account and any bonus incentives.

Trade on Multiple Devices

If you want to check if the platform is easy to use and compatible with all devices you can simply check this by using multiple devices. Many of you will have a laptop, a tablet and one or more phones. It is a good idea to visit the website on all devices and check if there is an app available. This way you won't be disappointed if you test it on one device only to find it isn't compatible with another.

How we Rate And Score

What better way to rate and score the best Forex platforms than using them ourselves. In fact that is exactly what we do. We spend our time visiting the various brokers and trading on them. We have a team of experienced traders whose job it is to review and rate everything. If there is something wrong they will find it. They can also test each of the common features of the sites and feedback on how they score in comparison to one another.

Everything that we recommend has been rigorously tested by multiple members of our team including our financial experts. They rate everything from the ease of use of the site and mobile compatibility, to whether there is a demo account and whether it is free to use. We are then able to filter out those that don't make the cut and put together a list of the platforms that offer the best features. We then produce a comprehensive review of each broker so that you can make a more informed decision.

Many of you will find more than one broker that meets your requirements. In this instance we advise that you visit each website and find out which one you feel most comfortable trading with in terms of ease of use and functionality. Our job is to take the time and stress out of finding a broker so that you can get on with trading.

Expert Broker Reviews

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Frequently Asked Questions

Platforms FAQ

Is one platform more reliable than another?

As with any website it is only as good as the software it is built on. If the software isn't very good then you may experience glitches when trading. It is a good idea to check the software as some are more reputable than others. This is certainly the case when it comes to a software like Meta Trader 4 which has a very good reputation. In terms of reliability we only present those that offer a good user experience.

How do I find the best trading platforms to use?

By reading our reviews you will be able to learn a lot about each of the brokers. We review all of the brokers to find the best software for you to trade on. Often the biggest and more reputable brokers tend to use similar or the same software. Others make a huge investment into building their own. You can also use the broker's demo account to test if you find it easy to use and compatible when it comes to mobile trading.

Can I use a demo account on any platform?

Most Forex brokers offer a demo account. In fact the demo account has become somewhat of a deal breaker when it comes to Forex trading. There are still some that don't offer it and some that require a deposit. Many brokers will offer a no deposit chance to trade on their demo platform before you make your initial deposit. Usually this is time limited and only available for a specific time frame with a limit to the funds you can use.

Are all trading platforms safe and secure?

Unfortunately there are some Forex brokers that are a scam. That is why it is so important to choose wisely. If you pick a reputable broker that has been tried and tested then the platform will be safe and secure. The software that many of them are built on are encrypted to the same sort of levels as financial institutions. Pick carefully though. Make sure you choose from our list of reviewed and recommended brokers if you are unsure.

Do the same bonuses exist on all platforms?

No. Bonuses are all unique to the broker. They are offered as an incentive to attract customers and to keep those customers returning and investing. Many brokers do offer bonuses though. They range in value from a flat fee of $25 to a percentage of your deposit. Some bonuses can run into the thousands. If bonus is an important criteria for you then it is worth checking out a few as the bonuses do vary greatly.

Your capital may be at risk
Risk Warning: The trading products offered by the companies listed on this website carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never trade money that you cannot afford to lose.

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