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The ins and outs of the different Forex trading platforms in Australia

If you’re looking for the best forex trading platforms in Australia, then this article is here to help. We endeavor to provide you with all of the information on what makes a good forex trading platform and how you can choose the one that is most suitable for your trading style.

Forex trading platforms in Australia

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Best Australian Forex Brokers

Forex trading basics

Foreign exchange, forex or FX trading involves being online on a trading platform. Of course, many traders want to know what the best Forex trading platforms are. There is lots of competition in the forex trading world with regards to software, so it’s really difficult to choose your path.

The Forex trading industry is dominated by a company called MetaQuotes Corp. This is the company behind MT4 – or MetaTrader 4, which is by far, the most popular forex trading software in the retail foreign exchange market. MT4 is the choice of a lot of professional traders but there are lots of other options that have surfaced recently.

Forex trading platforms in Australia

MetaQuotes Corp Forex Trading Platforms

When you trade foreign currency online, the majority of brokers will provide a variety of trading platforms. The most common ones are MetaTrader platforms. The software was created around a decade ago and there are two main choices of MetaTrader platforms – MetaTrader 4 and Meta Trader 5.

MetaTrader 4

This platform was designed with trading forex in mind. Retail Forex is quite new as an industry and it didn’t have 3rd party software that was reliable until the advent of MetaTrader 4. This forex trading platform is very reliable and it has lots of useful features for traders such as:

  • Lots of experts to give advice
  • More than 50 indicators
  • 1-click trading
  • Limit orders
  • Pending orders
  • Nine time-frames
  • Multi charting

MetaTrader 4’s advantages

One of the biggest selling points of MetaTrader 4 is that it’s very stable. It really is a reliable platform. Also, it comes with powerful mobile apps that are available on lots of operating systems like Android and iOS. The mobile version is very stable too.

MetaTrader 4’s disadvantages

It happens on occasion that a few brokers will offer wider spreads on MetaTrader 4 when compared to their own platform where they offer smaller spreads. This assumes, of course, that these brokers offer multiple trading platforms. What’s more, some professionals in the trading of forex say that MT4 is slower than other platforms.

MetaTrader 5

Like MetaTrader 4, MT5 is one of the best forex trading platforms in Australia that is currently available.

Generally speaking, MT5 is marginally faster and it supports more order types. It also has a larger number of indicators and some additional features. Despite it being a better platform, on the whole, it’s not revolutionary enough to make the MT4 platform redundant. For both brokers and traders, what’s good about MT5 is that it handles more trading instruments in comparison to MT4.

MetaTrader 5 Advantages

Despite its similarities with MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 has a few distinct advantages. It has, for example:

  • Six pending order types – sell-stop, buy-stop, sell-limit, buy-limit, sell-stop-limit, and buy-stop-limit orders. Other platforms, including MT4, usually only do the first 4.
  • 21 timeframes – 11 ‘minute charts’ (like M1 – M3 etc.), 7 ‘hourly charts’ (like H1-H3, etc.) and daily/weekly/monthly charts too. Other platforms, including MT4, usually only have 9 timeframes.
  • MT5 can switch modes between ‘netting’ and ‘hedging’. With hedging selected, you can take trades that are in opposing positions. This ability has revolutionized forex traders’ options.
  • The DOM function (Depth of Market) allows you to view offers and bids at different financial instruments prices.

Other Forex trading platforms

cTrader

Recently, ‘cTrader’ has been developed by Spotware to compete as a forex trading platform. Even though this platform offers advanced trading features and charting, it has some differences when compared to MetaTrader:

  • Since MetaTrader is the best-known platform, its online community is very active and many traders share strategies. This also means support is easier to find on these two forex trading platforms. One the other hand, cTrader’s support can be more limited.
  • You can’t customize indicators on cTraders and it is also limited in its use of 3rd-party programs, unlike MetaTrader.
  • cTrader doesn’t have the additional features of MetaTrader – the real-time market news, the economic calendar, the signal trading functionality, etc.
  • cTrader is a web browser so there hasn’t been a great development in terms of apps for mobiles until recently. Currently, it has the capability for iOS and Android, devices. It does, in all likelihood, cover most traders’ phones, it does prevent those who have Windows phones from using the mobile version.

NinjaTrader

This forex trading platform has been in existence since 2004. It was created for active stock, futures and forex traders. The platform has automated strategies, advanced charting and trade simulation. Anyone who wishes to carry out traders from the platform has to buy a lease or license annually or quarterly.

NinjaTrader is mainly a trading platform; it isn’t a data provider. This means users have to connect it to a data provider like Kinetick or Google Finance if they want real-time or end-of-day market data.

eSignal

This forex trading platform is more geared to advanced traders that want features that are customizable.

The platform offers standard features that you would expect from modern forex trading platforms and users can also create market screeners or trading strategies of their own here.

The platform gives users advanced tools for drawing like price squares, Gann boxes and time squares. You can also view 500 symbols at any one time on eSignal. That said, if you want to access real-time data or streaming feeds, you will have to connect eSignal to one of the support brokers. Users, thus, have to lease it from eSignal for an annual or monthly fee.

ProRealTime

This foreign exchange trading platform is a French piece of technical analysis software produced by IT-Finance. The ProRealTime platform is unique in that it is software that is web-based and it has a backup on the cloud network of the company. This forex trading platform offers lots of analytical tools and advanced charting. You can also create market scanners and trading strategies that are customizable using the language of ProRealCode. Users must, however, pay a license to use this software and platform. What’s more, there are also extra fees if you want to access market data in real-time.

Conclusion – what conclusions can we make about these forex trading platforms?

As we have seen, traders have a lot of considerations when it comes to deciding which of the forex trading platforms to use. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, it’s a tough decision to make. MT4 (MetaTrader 4) and MT5 (MetaTrader 5) are the forex trading platforms that receive the best reviews online and they are often at the top of the list when it comes to software ratings. These are both time tested and have a history of working well for years. Many places let you download Mt4 and MT5 for free too on your PC or Mac.  Of course, just because MT4 and MT5 are leading forex trading platforms, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right ones for you.