The world of online forex trading is extensive, with plenty of different platforms to choose from. But of all the available software, the most famous option is MetaTrader 4. So, what makes it so special?

What is MetaTrader 4?

MetaTrader 4 or MT4 is a trading platform that is geared primarily towards forex. Though it also allows the user to trade in other financial instruments, like CFDs, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. First released in 2005 by MetaQuotes software, it has since grown to be one of the most popular forex trading platforms in the market, with millions of users worldwide.

Pros of MetaTrader 4

Some of the pros as listed below:

1. Ideal for beginners

MT4 is a favourite among beginner and veteran traders alike because of its user-friendly interface. Traders can easily navigate the platform to access fundamental and technical analysis data to make informed decisions. It also has customisable charts that beginner traders can use to pinpoint patterns in the market. The sheer amount of information that is readily available on the platform makes it much easier to strategise.

2. Highly accessible

The MT4 platform’s popularity makes it easy to acquire, even through brokers. Public Finance International shares that most large brokers make use of a variant of the MetaTrader because it’s such a fast and reliable trading software. Plus, the application itself is also accessible to users from different backgrounds. It’s available for download on both desktop and mobile. MT4 even has a web platform, allowing traders to access their account from any device.

3. Allows for automated trading

With MT4, traders have free reign to customise their trading methods for maximum efficiency. But with the inclusion of the automated trading feature, the potential for efficiency is heightened. FXCM reports that MT4 has fully customisable algorithms that users can alter using the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and the MQL4 programming language. And with the built-in alerts and news feature, the software can alert its user of any market changes that warrant a shift in strategy. With these features, it’s easier to make split-second decisions that can improve your chances of making a profit.

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Cons of the Trading Software

Few drawbacks of the trading platform are as given below:

1. Tedious installation process

While there aren’t many downsides to the MT4 platform, some might find its installation a bit tedious. This is because, apart from the basic download and setup, users will have to download additional fonts to ensure that the software runs smoothly. Moreover, Mac users might run into problems as the application was developed primarily for Windows.

2. No automated feature for the web platform

Another limitation is in MT4’s web platform. While it’s convenient and easily accessible, it does not allow the user to create or edit algorithms for automation.

Before you ultimately decide on your forex trading platform, it’s worth looking into MetaTrader 5 or MT5. According to The Science Times, MT5 was released in 2010 and isn’t as widely used as its predecessor. Although the two are very similar, MT5 offers a few extra services and features, such as multi-threaded backtesting and an economic calendar.

If you want to learn more, check out our Best Forex Trading Tools For Traders list. It breaks down some of the best tools you’ll need to be an effective forex trader.