MetaTrader 4/5 and cTrader are the most popular trading platforms available to forex market players but definitely not the only ones worth considering. Giving that both platforms were developed years ago, more and more Brokers are seeking newer tools developed according to the modern way of trading on the go.
This comparison covers 2 most popular trading platforms on the forex market and Match-Trader, a modern trading tool that is becoming the dark horse of trading software. How do they differ, what are their strengths?
At first glance, you can see significant differences in the user interface of all the platforms. MT4 with its raw layout focuses on simplicity and an extensive system of Expert Advisor bots which has become invaluable support for traders. However, MT5 differs a lot from its predecessor and alike cTrader platform is more flexible and has a higher capacity. On the other hand, there’s Match-Trader, relatively new on the market therefore its design is clean and modern – focused on usability and providing the best trading experience.
What then makes MT4 – the oldest and less capable platform – still the most popular platform among traders? That’s the EA bots. Every platform has its own bots programmed in a specific language MQL4 or MQL5. On the Internet, there are a lot of ready-made solutions written in MQL4 language, which any novice trader can use to copy signals and replicate the strategy of experienced users. Yet, MT4 is neither developed nor supported by MetaQuotes anymore so sooner or later it will have to give its way to newer platforms.
Desktop, Web and Mobile
Another big difference between MetaTrader, cTrader and Match-Trader is the type of their platforms. MetaTrader 4 and 5 were built as applications – both desktop and mobile – and they need to be downloaded and installed on users’ computers. cTrader was originally designed as a web platform, and as such is easily accessible from every browser. Whereas Match-Trader was developed using Progressive Web Application (PWA) technology that provides native mobile experience for web apps. This makes it a universal app that can be launched from an icon on the home screen of a chosen device. All settings and user’s data are synchronized in real-time so traders can switch devices and always access the same platform view.
Also, mobile apps differ significantly. MetaTrader offers only basic bulk application where a trader needs to choose his broker from the list while both MetaTrader and cTrader mobile apps are assigned to a given broker. Match-Trader offers its Brokers a fully branded mobile app with its own icon and name. It can be also downloaded straight from the Broker’s website limiting the outflow of potential clients.
Platform customization options
All of the platforms are sold in the White Label model and they all allow some customizations like adjustment of settings, adding logo etc. Match-Trader seems to offer the widest branding possibilities. In addition to selecting any name for the application, Broker can add his icon and change the colors of buttons and hoovers to match his logo and the entire brand.
As to features and functionalities, MT4/5 allows connecting custom made plugins and supporting applications. Every extension added to cTrader has to be developed by Spotware’s team and the broker can only report the need for an additional feature. Match-Trader on the other hand is already equipped with features like account management for traders and convenient payment methods. This standalone trading platform is meant to be the all-in-one tool for Brokers who value their time and need an effective solution to focus on attracting customers instead of administer the system.
As for the possibilities of automatic trading, MetaTrader (especially MT4) is the undisputed leader in terms of functionality and available trading tools. It offers the function of Expert Advisors – trading bots that are fully customizable, and thanks to the support of a very active online community, also easy to use even without programming skills. cTrader offers the equivalent of EA in cAlgo form, but due to the limited online community of cAlgo users – there is a very limited amount of ready-made robots (cBots).
The creators of Match-Trader proposed a completely different approach. Instead of robots, they put a number of solutions on the platform that help traders make decisions. For example Match-Trader provides a full view of funds required to open the trade, expected result of take/profit and stop/loss orders. Also all charts in the platforms are drawn at exactly the same prices as they are visible in the market watch, even when marked up.
Match-Trader – main advantages for users
- Designed to trade on the go
- All information & settings are synchronized across all devices in real-time Traders can open a position at home and close it on the way to/from work. Regardless of the device – always sees the same information.
- High performance of lightweight
- A full version of Match-Trader platform (all features available) takes up no storage space on the device, therefore, there’s no need for a high-end smartphone.
- Self-management for traders
- Automatic registration just by e-mail and setting a password to enter the platform immediately. Instant deposits from the platform – funds are automatically transferred to trading account without any delay.
cTrader – main advantages for users
- Market trends preview
- cTrader offers three modes of the charts: Multi-Chart, Single Chart, and Free Chart, which are very useful to get different views of market trends.
- Market Depth
- cTrader provides the opportunity to accurately assess the depth of the market in 3 different variants: Standard, Price and VWAP. Thanks to this, the investor can accurately track the liquidity of the market and place pending orders at precisely planned prices.
- Indicators and time intervals
- the platform offers a wide range of indicators very useful for analyzing market data (moving averages, MACD, Bollinger etc.) and the possibility of setting different time intervals (classic 1/5/15 minutes, 6-minute, 20-minute and many more )
- Algorithmic Trading
- cTrader offers its algorithmic trading tool in the form of integrated cAlgo (cBots) similar to the famous EA available in MT4. It allows programming robots to carry out automated trading operations, creating indicators, strategy optimization and backtesting. The tool works in C # and .NET Framework.
MetaTrader – main advantages for users
- Expert Advisors
- MetaTrader enables performing algorithmic transactions with the help of Expert Advisors (EA). They can be personally configured and perform commercial operations on behalf of users. EAs are especially useful for novice traders who want to use strategies that are created by experienced investors.
- Thanks to the huge popularity, the platform is available in many languages, which is very convenient for users around the globe who can benefit from trading in their native language.
- Simple and popular
- MetaTrader platforms are very intuitive and easy to use, especially for inexperienced traders, they’re more recognizable and more accessible on the market. This makes it easier for the broker to gain customers but at the same time, they must expect bigger competition.
Nowadays, there is a variety of different, turnkey solutions available on the market. What’s worth focusing on are those offering business efficiency. Customers who bet on an experienced technology provider offering smart solutions will get a business that will bring profits for many years.