MetaTrader 4 vs MetaTrader 5 – which is the best platform?
Every trader probably started his journey in the markets with the industry’s trusted platform the MT4 or MetaTrader 4. The trading platform owns an extensive range of features ready to accommodate for the needs of traders of all skill levels. However, its younger brother and successor, the MetaTrader 5, is also equally effective and efficient as a trading platform yet the industry apparently follows the “if it isn’t broken; don’t fix it” doctrine and MT4 continues to dominate the lion’s share of the market. However, both platforms have their merits and for a beginner investor in the forex market it’s important to have options and actionable information in order to be able to distinguish which platform best suits his needs and investment objectives.
After all, retail traders nowadays have started being progressively demanding and have high expectations both from their trading platform and their brokerage as far as trading conditions are concerned. That’s why it’s imperative for brokers to include both the MT4 and MT5 trading platform in their offering in order to deliver to their clients the option to choose the platform that fill their demands.
First launched in 2005, MetaTrader 4 is still widely used to access a variety of tradable assets including currency pairs, stocks, commodities and even cryptocurrencies. Through MetaTrader 4, traders get a variety of useful benefits that even some more modern platforms seem to lack. MT4 supports both hedging and automated trading or algorithmic trading through Expert Advisors and you can use the built-in MT4 Market to subscribe to forex signals providers or buy a range of custom technical indicators or plugins that further modify the platform and include additional features.
MT4 makes trading forex straightforward and intuitive with its user-friendly features like one-click trading straight from the Market Watch window that also provides the price feed of all your favorite trading instruments and also boasts powerful charting and backtesting capabilities to improve your trading strategy even further.
Also, the MT4 app that you can find on both the Android Play Store or iTunes/Appstore complements the desktop application well, allowing you to access and manage your trades and watch the rates while on the go.
While still not as popular as its predecessor, MT5 still holds its own with more advanced and up-to-date tech right out of the box. MT5’s under-the-hood innovations provide a greater selection of timeframes for your charts which translates to a more granular approach of interpreting price action. In comparison with MT4’s 9 different timeframes, MT5 provides a total of 21.
MT5 also delivers more tools for technical analysis focused traders with additional indicators you can apply on your charts including the MACD, Stochastic Oscillator and Force Index, 44 analytical objects and an economic calendar that keeps you updated regarding all the important news and events that drive the prices in all financial markets.
The updated platform also improves on the order execution offering with more types of order execution as well as additional pending orders you can use to fine tune your entries in the market. MT5 is also more efficient in backtesting your strategies and Expert Advisors by taking full advantage of your hardware’s capabilities.
Unfortunately, both platforms make use of their own proprietary programming language and MQL5, the one available in MT5 isn’t backwards compatible with MQL4 found in MT4. This means that more than 2000 custom indicators and tools developed in MQL4 over MT4’s lifetime cannot be ported over to MT5 – at least not without having the required programming expertise. This is a deal-breaker for most of the community who rely on these home-grown tools to fine-tune their trading and automate certain parts of their trading strategy through the use of trading bots developed in MQL4.
Which is the best platform?
Objectively, both platforms have their own unique advantages and drawbacks but as it currently stands, both can be used to trade the markets without worrying about stability or security. Since both platforms are developed by MetaQuotes, a company with decades of experience in the fintech industry, you can expect a high-quality standard of service in all aspects of the trading platforms.
It all comes down to personal preference and use case but if you are looking for better support and higher customization, then the MT4 platform is probably the better choice with its huge community of traders that can answer your questions and provide assistance through the MT4 forums.
Admittedly, however, MT5 is ostensibly a more efficient and future-proof offering and in fact, could be the only iteration of the MetaTrader platform going forward. If MetaQuotes decides to discontinue support for the MT4 platform, traders will be forced to move to a different platform and MT5 is arguably the next best candidate.
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