This article will discuss in details the basic components and differences between the most popular Forex trading platform, MT4, and the new cTrader.
Meta trader 4
Metatrader 4 or MT4 is the most commonly used Forex platform on the planet. The platform was first introduced in 2005 and developed by Metaquotes software. It is free, very simple to download, easy to install, and also easy to use. It is licensed out to online brokers who then make it available to their customers. MT4 offers multiple providers that are willing to code up your custom indicators or your strategies to make your life as a trader much more automated, these are known as EAS or Expert Advisors. The Expert Advisors are easy to use, customisable and work well for both new traders and experts.The huge advantage of using MT4 is that its programming language has been adopted by many coders, and having many tools allows the platform to be fully customised, with or without the need to know the programming language. So you can see it’s quite an extensive easy-to-follow functionality that makes the MT4 platform the most actively used Forex platform on the planet.
Now the much newer, Ctrader platform is considered by a few, to be the more professional version with lots of additional functionality. In the Ctrader platform first thing to notice is that the look and feel is very different. The user interface is attractive, neat and easy to use. The screens are easy to navigate and intuitively designed which easily gives cTrader an edge over metatrader 4. Now, this is beneficial to both the experienced trader and the new trader. In fact, it has a very useful advanced order protection area, allowing multiple exits on an open trade. You also have the ability to view the market depth of a particular Forex pair or indeed, any trading entity that you’re trading. And similar to the Expert Advisors of course, you can put in your Cbot. Now, Cbots basically are pre-coded indicators and tools that you can use to assist in your trading. So these are the standard ones, but of course then you can go to the Network, where coders have coded other indicators and so forth, and made them available.
Key features of meta trader 4 and cTrader
- The platform provides excellent visualisation of market data through different types of charts, which can be selected by traders based on their preference.
- MT4 provides for robot-based, algorithmic trading through Expert Advisors (EAs).
- MT4 provides a direct chat link between the trader and broker, giving the trader access to convenient support.
- The platform is easily customisable to the brokers and users to incorporate their required tools, markets and indicators.
- The platform offers three chart modes – single-chart, multi-chart and free-chart which can be used to get different visualisations of market trends, based on user preferences.
- Provides a comprehensive assessment of market depth with three distinct views– Standard depth, Price depth, and VWAP depth.
- The platform offers a large array of indicators such as Moving averages, MACD, Bollinger etc. for analysis of market data. cTrader offers many timeframe options including the usual 1 / 4 / 14 minutes and more.
- CTrader provides an algorithmic trading tool called cAlgo, which allows the trader to program robots for trade execution, creation of customer indicators, performing strategies and back testing.
Major differences between MT4 and cTrader
- cTrader is known for its smooth, user-friendly, uncluttered and intuitive interface while on the other hand the MT4 platform has a neat but outdated design.
- MT4 allows for the use of different trade orders and has three order execution modes (instant, request, market). It also comes with two market orders, 4 pending orders (Buy Stop, Sell Stop, Buy Limit, Sell Limit), 2 stop orders (Take Profit, Stop Loss) and a Trailing Stop while cTrader offers a wider selection of trade orders, including market orders, stop orders (including advanced take profit and advanced stop loss), limit orders, stop-limit orders, market range, market order on open, time of the day, good till the day, one cancels the other and trailing stop.
- MetaTrader 4 does not offer that much in terms of additional trading tools and plugins. The main features on this front include financial news, alerts and trading signals (copy trading). Whereas cTrader also features an integrated Economic Calendar, so that traders can easily keep track of key volatility-triggering macro reports, political events, or central bank announcements.Also unlike MetaTrader 4, cTrader offers two types of Stop-Out features; fair stop-out and smart stop-out.
- MT4 has 9 timeframes: 4 minute-frames, 2 hour-frames, daily, weekly, and monthly frames. Meanwhile, cTrader offers 26 timeframes: 14 minute-frames, 7 hour-frames, 3 day-frames, weekly, and monthly frames.
- Now, another key feature about the Ctrader platform is the advanced order protection such that you can detach a chart and move it to anywhere you like. Now, often with mt4, you may need multiple versions of mt4 in order to look at different profiles at any one time, but by detaching a chart you can literally move it to anywhere you like on your trading platform. CTrader enables users to detach charts, so that they can be used as stand-alone, tradable desktop applications across several screens. Every chart window/application contains all the customization tools and presents charts in different layout modes.
- Now, another cool feature that a lot of traders find useful with the Ctrader platform is the depth of market. Understanding market depth is important for the trader as it enables them to access liquidity and enter trades at precise price points. cTrader offers three alternatives for market depth assessment which are standard depth, price depth, and VWAP depth.
The trading platform that you choose to use is really not that important. If you have what it takes to be a trader, then the trading platform will not make that much of a difference. Sure, one has its advantages over the other, different trade offs, and so forth. But focus more on yourself as a trader and not the platform. Once you’ve got some degree of success, some degree of consistency in trading, and then perhaps look to explore the different platforms out there and see if one is more suited to your needs than the other.