Considered the gold standard among trading platforms, MetaTrader 4 is a free platform for trading forex and other financial instruments such as CFDs, futures, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. MetaTrader4 is available for retail traders through specific brokers, which individually license the platform.
According to its developer, MetaQuotes Software, the platform is available through over 750 brokers and banks and services millions of traders.
Who’s MetaTrader 4 For?
MetaTrader 4, with its simple design, excellent user interface, and functionalities such as copy trading and Expert Advisors, is ideal if you’re a beginner.
Since most brokers offer this as a sole platform or as an add-on with their own proprietary platform, you’ll gain access to a plethora of platform of educational resources and tutorials. The fully-functional demo account offers strong support for beginners.
The platform also appeals to advanced traders due to its advanced charting capabilities and technical analysis, several built-in indicators and graphical tools, etc. The platform also allows automated trading by programming with MetaQuote’s proprietary MQL4 language and constructing custom indicators.
MetaTrader 4’s Platform and Tools
MetaTrader offers desktop, web and mobile platforms. The platforms support over 30 languages, including English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and Russian. The desktop platform helps analyze financial markets, performs advanced trading operations, runs trading robots and does copy trading.
The client terminal of the platform allows three trade execution modes:
- Instant execution
- Execution on request
- Execution by market
Orders executed through MetaTrader 4 can be a market order, which is an order executed at the current market price or a pending order, which is a commitment to buy or sell a security at a predefined price in the future.
A pending order can be a limit, stop or stop-loss order. The platform’s quick trading function sends orders from the chart with one click. Another feature, called built-in tick, helps accurately determine entry and exit points. Price movement can be analyzed in nine timeframes. The platform’s charting application has 30 built-in technical indicators and 24 graphic objects.
MetaTrader 4 platform also ensures security; it conforms to the highest security standards. Your trading account is secured by the encryption of data exchanged between the client terminal and the platform’s servers and the usage of RSA digital signatures. The web platform allows you to trade using any browser and operating system. It provides for all trading orders, four execution modes and one-click trading. The chart carries real-time quotes.
MetaTrader 4’s mobile platform gives complete control over your trading account, and you can access your account anywhere, anytime. The free chat option also helps to communicate with other traders. MetaTrader 4 offers an automated trading feature with the help of automated trading robots called Expert Advisors (EAs). EAs can analyze quotes and execute trades.
These EAs, or robots, are available for download for free from Code Base, which is a library that features codes of free EAs, technical indicators and scripts. Alternatively, they can be purchased or rented from the Market, an online store. You can also order EAs from professional MetaTrader freelance developers.
TradingSignals in MetaTrader 4 allows copy trading of successful traders, who provide their trades in public access for free or for a reasonable fee, thereby becoming signal providers. These free and commercial signals are found on the Signals tab of the trading platform and on the firm’s website. You can select a signal provider and start copying trades without leaving the platform.
The alert tool of the platform lets you create an alert for certain trading conditions such as the price that exceeds specified bid and ask prices. Once the specified event occurs, you will be notified.
MetaTrader 4’s Research Offerings
The platform does not carry third-party research offerings. The financial alerts and tools of the platform provide traders with the latest market events, news from exchanges and large financial institutions, interest rate decisions, geopolitical developments, etc.
For transmitting the quotes and news, you need to launch a simple plugin, a gateway for connecting the platform with quotes and news providers. The platform has already created feeds for major quote and news providers such as IB Times, Trading Central, Dow Jones, Claws and Horns, MNI, Bloomberg, Reuters, Alliance News, FXStreet and Trading Central. You can create your own feed using the MetaTrader 4 API.
MetaTrader 4’s Pricing
Metatrader 4 is free for download from the website. On the first launch, you will be prompted to open a free demo account to enable you to test all features of the trading platform.
When you access the platform through a broker, it may offer MetaTrader 4 free for its clients or widen its spread to account for the use of either the MetaTrader 4 standard account or the MetaTrader 4 Pro account. The brokerage pays an upfront fee of $100,000 for a full license and coughs up an extra sum of around $15,000 per month for hosting, bridging, hiring 24/5 support and other services.
MetaTrader 4’s Compatibility
- OS – Windows XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/10
- Processor – One that supports SSE2 instruction sets
The other hardware depends on terms of using the terminal, load from running MQL4 applications and the number of active instruments and charts, etc. MetaQuotes do not create a version of the platform for Linux and Mac OS. However, to install MetaTrader 4 on the Linux, you need to have the Ubuntu OS and Wine, which is an installer of the Windows program.
For installing on Mac OS, a special program installer called PlayOnMac is needed, which can be downloaded for free. Wine and PlayOnMac do not guarantee perfectly installed programs; they can have bugs at times. If you want to install MetaTrader 4 on a tablet or smartphone with Android OS, Android 4.0 or a higher version is required. For an Apple device, iOS 7.0 or a higher version is required.
MetaTrader 4’s Customer Support
MetaTrader 4’s website has a webpage dedicated to help topics, which provides information under various heads such as getting started, client terminal settings, user interface, working with charts, analytics, trading, auto trading, tools, articles, signals, market and virtual hosting.
To purchase the software, brokerages can contact MetaQuote’s offices in Cyprus, China, Singapore, Australia, Turkey, UAE, Pakistan and Thailand. Support is also available from brokerages that offer the platform.
MetaTrader 4's Ease of Use
Once you download the platform, you’ll be up and running in no time. Its user interface is friendly and intuitive despite its advanced features. The feature that allows placing of orders right from the charts ensures quick execution and helps you capture profit-making opportunities.
Since MetaTrader 4 is the most preferred platform for most brokers, you may not be required to learn to trade with another trading platform. The analytical tools offered by the platform are second to none and the copy trading feature helps beginners draw on the expertise of experienced professional traders without burning their fingers. It also facilitates automated trading by either buying or developing your own EAs.
MetaQuotes has tried to popularize MetaTrader 5, so it’s likely that that licensor may not offer technical updates or support. Even so, if you’re using MetaTrader 4 from an established broker, you’re likely to have unhindered access to the platform.