In the world of trading, Metatrader 4 (MT4) has gained immense popularity recently, primarily due to its user-friendly interface and extensive range of features. As such, a common query that arises among traders familiar with MT4 is whether it surpasses its successor, Metatrader 5 (MT5).
This article delves into the depths of MT4, meticulously analysing its array of features, functionalities, types of accounts, the download process, and the significant distinctions between MT4 and MT5. Moreover, we will assess the pros and cons of this trading platform.
What is Metatrader 4(MT4)?
Metatrader 4, developed by MetaQuotes in 2005 initially for forex trading, has since evolved into a prominent choice among traders worldwide due to its user-friendly interface, versatility, and extensive functionality.
This platform facilitates trading across various financial markets through a wide range of brokers, enabling advanced technical analysis, and the implementation of automated trading strategies.
MT4 stands out for its remarkable ease of use, demanding minimal system resources. Its charting capabilities are a major asset, offering a broad array of indicators that can be easily customised by those familiar with the straightforward MetaQuotes language – making it possible for anyone to create their desired indicators or automated trading systems. The fact that MT4 boasts over a million users worldwide attests to its widespread popularity.
Key features of MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 4 has several features that make it one of the most used trading platforms in the world:
- Intuitive interface: MT4 provides an easy-to-use interface, with technical analysis tools and customisable charts to suit the trader’s preferences.
- Orders: It has several types of orders, including instant execution and pending orders.
- Advanced technical analysis: MT4 allows traders to personalise charts to align with their unique preferences and trading strategies.
- Automated trading: Leveraging the user-friendly MetaQuotes Language 4, traders can efficiently program and backtest their trading strategies.
- Customer service: MT4 includes an internal messaging system to communicate with brokers and features a built-in help section for resolving queries related to the platform.
- Free of charge.
- Security and privacy: Metatrader 4 uses a secure and encrypted connection, which guarantees the protection of users’ personal and financial data.
Brokers that integrate Metatrader 4
ActivTrades is a broker that offers trading services with a catalogue of over 1,000 CFDs and spread bet on multiple types of underlying assets, including stocks, indices, bonds, forex, and commodities.
ActivTrades not only allows trading on MT4, but it allows integrating its own trading tools, which include up to 50 technical indicators while having access to its Expert Advisors (EA).
Moreover, the platform offers access to data for different periods of time, across up to 9 different timeframes.
Check out our in-depth ActivTrades review for more information.
IG is a global broker that offers trading services for over 17,000 assets. With this broker, you can use spread betting, CFDs, create smart portfolios, and own actual shares, among others. The main asset classes available are stock, forex, indices, commodities, ETFs, bonds, and even volatility indices.
You can integrate your IG account with MT4, which will give you a number of advantages. Perhaps, the most notable is the 24/5 support service, but also the fact of operating on a server that is available 99% of the time, and all at very competitive spreads.
In addition, you will have access to:
- 18 free add-ons and indicators
- The Autochartist tool
- Two expert advisors on a private virtual server where these advisors can execute operations when you are not connected.
Check out our IG review for more information.
CMC Markets stands out as one of the most renowned brokers globally, particularly in the realm of CFD trading. With a vast selection of over 12,000 CFDs covering a wide range of assets, including stocks, forex, indices, commodities, and bonds, it has amassed a substantial client base of more than 275,000 traders worldwide.
An impressive feature offered by CMC Markets is the ability to download and integrate your trading account with Metatrader 4. Through this integration, traders gain access to a diverse pool of over 200 investment instruments, including currency pairs, indices, and commodities, all with highly competitive and tight spreads.
One remarkable advantage of opening a Metatrader 4 account with this esteemed British broker is the location of their server in London. This strategic placement ensures a high level of liquidity and swift order execution speed, creating the right environment for scalping traders.
Check out our CMC Markets review for more information.
OANDA is a highly acclaimed broker in the forex and CFDs industry, renowned for its extremely competitive spreads and commissions. Notably, OANDA can be seamlessly integrated into MetaTrader 4, providing traders with a comprehensive and enriched trading experience.
Furthermore, traders can access an impressive suite of 28 additional trading tools and indicators.
These have been four of the best brokers in the market compatible with MT4, however, there are multiple others, including:
What assets does MetaTrader 4 include for trading?
Although MetaTrader4 is the most common platform for trading forex, it can also be used to trade multiple other markets using CFDs. Examples include:
- Forex: Currency pairs from different countries, such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, among others.
- Stocks: Stocks of companies listed on stock exchanges around the world, such as Apple, Google, Amazon, etc.
- Indices: Popular stock indices, such as the S&P 500, Dow Jones, NASDAQ, FTSE 100, among others.
- Commodities: Commodities such as gold, oil, natural gas, silver, etc.
Types of Metatrader 4 accounts:
Let’s look at the 4 types of Metatrader 4 accounts:
The MetaTrader 4 demo account is a practising account that allows traders to trade with virtual money in a simulated environment, without risking real funds. It is ideal for beginners who want to familiarise themselves with the platform and test strategies without risk.
These are the advantages it offers:
- Learning tool
- Risk-free trading
- Full functionality
It is a basic account that offers access to a wide range of financial instruments. It usually has fixed or variable spreads, depending on the broker, and may require a minimum deposit to open the account, also depending on the broker. Among its advantages, we find:
- Financial Market Analysis
- Use of Expert Advisors
- Mobile Trading
- Trading signals
How to download MetaTrader 4 for free in 5 steps?
Here is a 5-step guide to download MetaTrader 4 for free:
- Select a broker: Choose a broker that supports MT4 and suits your needs.
- Registration: Register on the broker’s website and open a trading account.
- Download: Once registered, look for the download section on the broker’s website and choose the option to download MetaTrader 4, as indicated in the screenshot below.
- Installation: Run the downloaded installation file and follow the instructions to complete the installation on your device.
- Log in: Open Metatrader 4 and log in with your account credentials provided by the broker. Now you are ready to start trading!
The specific details may vary depending on the broker and the platform you use, but these general steps will give you an idea of how to download MetaTrader 4 for free.
Costs and commissions of MetaTrader 4
The platform MetaTrader 4 itself is free to download and use. However, it is important to note that brokers may apply their own pricing structures and commissions for trades made through the platform.
The costs and commissions vary depending on the broker and the type of account you choose. Some brokers may charge variable spreads, commissions, swaps and other charges associated with trades. It is advisable to research and compare the terms of different brokers to find the one that best suits your needs in terms of costs and commissions.
How to use the MetaTrader 4 platform?
Market Watch is an essential tool in MetaTrader 4 that displays a list of available financial instruments to trade. It provides real-time information on bid and ask prices, the spread and other relevant details. Traders can customise the list of instruments and add those they wish to closely monitor.
By default, MetaTrader 4 places it under Market Watch, and we will find several drop-down elements:
- The first one is “Accounts“, where you can see and access the demo and real accounts that you opened.
- The second tab is “Indicators“, such as RSI, Stochastic, or MACD.
- The third tab is “Custom Indicators” with all the indicators you added, apart from the ones that come by default.
- And the last tab is “Scripts“, which execute repeated actions such as opening and closing positions, for example. They constitute the basis of the Expert Advisors and contain trading strategies predefined by the trader.
Automated trading strategies (MQL4)
This screener allows traders to develop, test and use automated trading strategies using the MQL4 programming language. Traders can write their own code or use preprogrammed expert advisors (EAs) to execute trades automatically according to a set of defined rules and conditions.
Technical analysis tools
MetaTrader 4 provides a wide range of technical analysis tools, such as indicators and charting capabilities, to help traders make informed decisions. Popular technical indicators, such as moving averages, oscillators, Bollinger bands and many others, are available on the platform.
In addition, traders can customise the indicators and modify their parameters, and can also use drawing tools to analyse charts and price patterns.
The Terminal is the main section of MetaTrader 4 where traders can view their open positions, pending orders, trading history, account balance, and other relevant information. It is from the terminal where traders can execute trades, modify existing orders and monitor the performance of their trades and their account in general in real time.
The History section in MetaTrader 4 allows traders to view a complete record of all trades made on their account. They can review past trades, check entry and exit prices, calculate profits and losses, and analyse the overall performance of their trading history.
MetaTrader 4 allows traders to set up custom alerts to receive notifications when certain market conditions are met. These alerts can be about prices, indicators, or other predefined conditions. Alerts allow traders not to miss the opportunities in the markets.
Advanced features MetaTrader 4
Among the most advanced features of MetaTrader 4 can be considered:
- Advanced charting tools
- Automatic trading strategies: You can develop and test them through the Expert Advisors tool and the Strategy Test, which offers insights into the performance of a strategy.
These features are not too complicated to handle, but some previous experience with other platforms or simulators is recommended. Alternatively, you can use the demo account to become familiar with all the features.
Metatrader 4 platforms
Metatrader 4 Mac or Windows (PC)
Metatrader 4 is available for both Mac and Windows, allowing users of both operating systems to access the platform.
Regardless of whether you use a Windows PC or a Mac, you can download the MetaTrader 4 platform from your preferred broker’s website and follow the installation steps to start trading.
MetaTrader 4 mobile app
In addition to the PC and Mac versions, Metatrader 4 also offers a mobile application for iOS and Android devices. This mobile application allows traders to operate in the financial markets and access their Metatrader 4 accounts from their smartphones or tablets, providing greater flexibility and accessibility.
The MetaTrader 4 mobile application provides many of the same functions and features as the desktop version, allowing traders to perform technical analysis, execute trades, manage open positions, receive notifications and access real-time data, all from their mobile device.
As a result, this makes it a convenient option for traders who want to have access to the markets at any time and from anywhere.
Metatrader 4: reviews
Reviews for Metatrader 4 continue to be overwhelmingly positive, primarily attributed to its widespread adoption and user-friendly interface. Over the years, MT4 has established itself as a dependable and stable platform, contributing to its enduring popularity within the trading community.
Traders particularly appreciate the following aspects:
- The wide range of technical analysis tools
- The ability to customise charts
- The possibility of using automated trading strategies
- The availability of many indicators and expert advisors developed by the community
For example, see below a screenshot from Google Play Store, with more than 10 million downloads, there is an average of 4.4 stars (out of 5).
In general, MetaTrader 4 remains a popular and reliable option for traders, especially those who are starting trading or looking for a stable and easy-to-use platform.
Alternatives to Metatrader 4
Throughout this comprehensive review, we have explored the various features of MetaTrader 4. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that there are other alternatives worth considering. If you’re interested in exploring different trading platforms, we have compiled a series of reviews and comparisons that may be of interest:
Differences between Metatrader 4 vs MetaTrader 5
Metatrader 4 (MT4) and Metatrader 5 (MT5) are two renowned trading platforms developed by MetaQuotes Software. Although they share some similarities, they also boast significant differences. Below are the key distinctive features worth noting:
- Market Depth Functionality: MT5 offers a market depth feature that displays the order flow and real-time available liquidity. MT4 does not have this feature.
- Order Types: MT5 has a wider range of order types compared to MT4. In addition to the market and pending orders available in MT4, MT5 also offers stop limit orders, market execution orders, buy and sell stop limit orders, and more.
- Test Mode: MT5 allows testing using multiple currency pairs simultaneously, while in MT4 you can only test one currency pair at a time.
- Programming Language: MT5 uses the MQL5 programming language, which is more advanced and versatile than the MQL4 language used in MT4. MQL5 allows greater flexibility and programming capabilities for automated strategies.
- Hedging: MT5 does not support the hedging function that is available in MT4. The hedging function allows traders to open positions in the same direction or in opposite directions on the same financial instrument. MT5 only allows one position per instrument, which means that traders must close a position before opening another in the opposite direction.
- Pending Updates: While MT5 offers a more advanced programming language, many strategies and tools existing in MQL4 (used in MT4) have not yet been migrated to MQL5. This can limit the programming options available for MT5 compared to MT4.
The choice between Metatrader 4 and Metatrader 5 depends on the individual preferences and needs you may have as a trader. While MT5 offers more advanced features, MT4 remains popular due to its wide availability, broker support and large user community.
Which trading platform should you choose: MT4 Vs MT5
The choice between Metatrader 4 and Metatrader 5 will depend on your individual needs and goals as a trader.
If you are a beginner trader or your trading strategy does not require advanced features such as market depth, hedging or the use of certain specific tools, Metatrader 4 may be a more suitable option due to its wide availability, compatibility with many brokers and a large number of educational and support resources available. Also, MT4 is best for forex trading, while MT5 is best for trading other assets, such as CFDs on stocks or indices, among others.
On the other hand, if you are a more experienced trader or you are looking to take advantage of more advanced features and the MQL5 programming language, Metatrader 5 may be the preferred option, due to its greater flexibility in terms of order types, testing capacity and programming capabilities for automated strategies.
In making your decision, we recommend evaluating the specific features and functions of each platform, researching compatible brokers, and carefully considering your own needs and preferences as a trader. By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed choice on which platform best aligns with your trading style and goals.
Pros and cons of using MetaTrader 4
Pros of using Metatrader 4:
✅ Intuitive and easy-to-use interface.
✅ Wide availability of compatible brokers.
✅ Large number of technical analysis tools and customisation options.
✅ Support for automated trading strategies.
✅ Active community of users and educational resources.
Cons of using Metatrader 4:
❌ Lacks some advanced features available in MetaTrader 5.
❌ MQL4 programming language, less advanced than MQL5.
❌ Best for forex only.
In conclusion, Metatrader 4 stands as an indispensable tool for every forex trader, serving as an ideal starting point due to its user-friendly and intuitive interface. It provides an excellent foundation for traders to venture into more advanced trading techniques.
FAQS about MetaTrader 4
Can I use custom indicators and expert advisors on MetaTrader 4?
Yes, MetaTrader 4 allows traders to use custom indicators and expert advisors (EAs) to enhance their trading strategies. Traders can create or import their custom indicators in the MQL4 programming language, offering endless possibilities for technical analysis. Moreover, expert advisors enable automated trading based on predefined rules, helping traders execute trades without continuous manual intervention.
Does MetaTrader 4 provide access to historical market data?
Yes, Metatrader 4 offers access to historical market data, enabling traders to conduct backtesting and perform detailed analyses of past price movements. Historical data is crucial for evaluating the performance of trading strategies and indicators before implementing them in live markets. Traders can access historical data for various timeframes, providing valuable insights into market trends and price behaviour across different periods.
Is Metatrader 4 available for Mac users?
Yes, the MT4 terminal can be installed on Mac OS through third-party software such as Wine, PlayOnMac, or by setting up a virtual machine running Windows.