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MT4 vs MT5 Comparison - Which Metatrader Trading Platform is Better?

The Real Story Behind Forex Trading Platforms

The Metatrader 4 trading platform is very well known and can definitely be said to set the industry standard. I have never seen a Forex broker that does not either offer trading directly through the platform or through an in-house bridge to the platform, although this can be at the cost of a slightly higher spreads and/or commissions. The Metatrader 5 trading platform is somewhat less commonly offered, although it is produced by the same company (the Cyprus-based MetaQuotes Software Corporation).

To understand why this is the case, we need to take a closer look at the platform. 

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    MT4 or MT5 Which Trading Platform is Better for You?

    The answer to this question should seem pretty clear by now after reading the below MT4 and MT5 comparison. If you have to comply with U.S. regulations for whatever reason, want to do a great deal of back testing using the platform offline, or want access to stock and commodities exchanges that are hard to reach through Metatrader 4, then Metatrader 5 is the obvious choice for you.

    It has to be said that otherwise, there is no reason not to use Metatrader 4, which remains a tried and tested gold standard platform of the industry. It is far more popular than Metatrader 5, and for good reason: it is easy to use and manage and has generally less glitches than its browser-based competitor platforms.

    MT4 vs MT5 Comparison Infographic

    Metatrader4 vs. Metatrader5 Infographic

    What is MT5?

    Because Metatrader 5 was released in 2010, five years after the release of Metatrader 4 and at a time when Metatrader 4 was already very popular, and due also to the number sequence in the platform names, there is a common misapprehension that Metatrader 5 was a new improved version of Metatrader 4, designed to do the same job better. This is not really true at all, although it is a trading platform and back testing machine just as Metatrader 4 is, and the graphical user interfaces look and feel fairly similar. Any adequate Metatrader review should point this out.

    Metatrader 5 was actually designed to do some things that Metatrader 4 could not do. In reality, it was aimed at a different market, and thus, there is really very little reason to enter a discussion about “MT4 vs. MT5”.

    Essentially, Metatrader 5 was designed to be able to trade markets other than Forex, such as stocks and commodities, essentially because it is better able to plug into a centralized trading exchange. Forex is a completely decentralized market, with a number of major players providing liquidity into this huge market at slightly different prices, in an uncoordinated fashion. Stocks and commodities, the latter of which is traded largely as a futures contract (infact several contracts with different expiry dates), must usually be traded through a centralized process before ownership can change hands with full legal effect. At the time of the MT5 development and release, it can be assumed that Metaquotes foresaw a retail stocks and commodities trading boom, and designed the software to fit that market.

    The other major differential design factor was its compliance with the U.S.A.’s “no hedging rule”, which states that clients of Forex brokers in the U.S.A. must deal on a F.I.F.O. (first in, first out) basis. This means that if for example a trader goes long 1 lot of EUR/USD, and then goes long an additional 1 lot of EUR/USD, the first trade must be closed before the second trade can be closed. While Metatrader 4 logs every trade individually and allows for management of each individual position separately, Metatrader 5 automatically aggregates all positions. Therefore, only Metatrader 4 can deal with hedging: Metatrader 5 caxnnot. This is fine for traders in the U.S.A. as they are legally barred from hedging in any case, but in most of the rest of the world, many traders find an inability to execute hedging operations a very annoying an unnecessary handicap. It is probably the major reason why many traders have come to feel annoyed at being “pushed” into using Metatrader 5 in the place of Metatrder 4 by their brokers and arguably by MetaQuotes as well.

    So in a nutshell, Metatrader 5 was developed to attract non-Forex markets and U.S. markets and to meet the inherent needs of those markets better than Metatrader 4 could. That is the true story of MT4 vs. MT5.

    What is the Difference Between MT4 and MT5 Metatrader?

    The two major differences have already been covered, but there are a number of others worth mentioning within any MT4 and MT5 comparison.

    Metatrader 5 uses a programming language called MQL5 as opposed to the MQL4 used by Metatrader 4. The exciting thing about MQL5 is that it allows “black box” programming which, in a nutshell, means that it is easier to program and so will logically be a better framework for users and developers of trading robots and other expert advisors. However, MetaQuotes expanded this capability into MQL4 in 2014, so it is not a difference between the platforms any more, although there is a likelihood that if the language is upgraded at some time in the future, MetaQuotes will not extend any upgrades into MQL4 as well as MQL5. 

    It should be noted that there is no backwards compatibility. Programs written for Metatrader 4 cannot run on Metatrader 5. This can be a serious drawback for traders who were wishing to “upgrade”, and is a key reason why such a change shouldn’t be seen as an upgrade.

    It is true that Metatrader 5 retains two key programming-related advantages over Metatrader 4. Firstly, its back testing functions where you can test programmed trading strategies execute at a much faster speed, which is a feature that can save you a lot of time if you are the kind of trader who needs to run a large number of back tests. It also allows simultaneous multi-currency pair back testing. Together this can speed up back testing procedures immeasurably.

    There are some additional minor differences between the two trading platforms that it is worth being aware of:

     
    MT4
    MT5
    Markets
    Forex, CFDs
    Forex, Futures, Stocks, Bonds, Options
    Technical Indictors
    Fewer
    More
    Graphical Objects
    Fewer
    More
    Pending Order Types
    Fewer
    More
    Order Fill Policy
    Fill or Reject
    Fill or Reject, Immediate or Cancel, Return
    Partial Order Fill Policy
    No
    Yes
    Email System
    No Attachments
    Allows Attachments
    Fund Transfer Between Accounts
    No
    Yes
    Netting
    No
    Yes
    Exchange Trading
    No
    Yes

     

    A Trader's Perspective

    Most seasoned traders will tell you that all they really want from a trading platform is something that is reliable and easy to use, intuitive, and doesn’t crash. They will also tell you that although Metatrader 4 might have a few annoying features, it works well enough, and allows them to stay on top of their trades and charts at the same time. As the choice of broker is really more important than choice of platform, all the platform-centered advertising and Metatrader reviews are mostly just gimmicks that are best overlooked since practically every broker offers access to Metatrader 4.

    FAQs

    Can I use mt4 account in mt5?

    No, but many brokers offering the MetaTrader 4 trading platform also offer the MetaTrader 5 trading platform and will allow you to switch.

    What is the MT5 trading platform?​

    MetaTrader 5 is a widely used trading platform for Forex and especially CFDs. It is more powerful than the MetaTrader 4 platform, offering enhanced social and copy trading features, as well as better back testing and analytical functionalities.

    Will mt4 be phased out?

    No. Although Metaquotes announced several years ago they would no longer be supporting MetaTrader 4, it is still available from their website for free download and remains by far the most popular and widely used trading platform.

    What is the difference between MT4 and MT5?

    MT4 was built to trade Forex while MT5 was designed to allow easier trading in non-Forex CFDs. They use different programming languages and MT5 allows faster back testing than MT4. MT5 also allows a DOM (depth of market functionality) and is technically supported by MetaQuotes, unlike MT4.

    Which MetaTrader is the best?

    We feel that despite the hype, MetaTrader 4 is generally seen as better by most traders. Otherwise why would MetaQuotes force MT5 on people trying to download MT4 from its website?

    Which MT4 broker is the best?

    Daily Forex believes that of the top brokers offering the MT4 trading platform, FXTM is the superior choice for most traders.

    Is MetaTrader 5 good?

    MetaTrader 5 is an excellent trading platform and has superior capabilities to MetaTrader 4 in certain areas such as back testing and DOM (depth of market). However, most Forex traders still prefer MetaTrader 4 to MetaTrader 5 when a choice is available.

    Is MT4 good for trading?

    Although MT4 is an old trading platform, it is still widely regarded as the best platform for Forex trading, but it is best used with modern add-ons.

    Can you trade Forex with MT5?

    Yes, many Forex brokers offer Forex trading through the MT5 trading platform.

    Is mt5 faster than mt4?

    Yes, metatrader 5 is much faster than metatrader 4. You can test programmed trading strategies execute at a much faster speed, which is a feature that can save you a lot of time if you are the kind of trader who needs to run a large number of back tests.

    Why MT4 and not MT5?

    For most traders, it is not worth switching from the MT4 to the MT5 trading platform because it does not really offer much strong improvement in trading conditions and execution. However, traders needing to comply with FIFO or who are looking to trade assets other than Forex and CFDs will find it worthwhile to use MT5 instead.

    Is MT5 free?

    Yes, MT5 is free.

    Is MetaTrader 5 safe?

    Yes, MT5 is safe, the question is whether the broker you are using the platform with is safe.

    Can I use MT5 without a broker?

    Yes, you can open a demo account with the MT5 trading platform that does not require registering with any broker.

    Can I use both MT4 and MT5?

    You can use both MT4 and MT5, but there is no backwards compatibility between them, and they use different programming languages, so it may not be useful or easy to do so.

    Can you withdraw money from MetaTrader 4?

    MetaTrader 4 is just a trading platform, withdrawing funds usually requires direct communication with your broker’s back office.

    Is MetaTrader free for me?

    Yes, MetaTrader is free for you.

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    Adam Lemon
    About Adam Lemon

    Adam Lemon began his role at DailyForex in 2013 when he was brought in as an in-house Chief Analyst. Adam trades Forex, stocks and other instruments in his own account. Adam believes that it is very possible for retail traders/investors to secure a positive return over time provided they limit their risks, follow trends, and persevere through short-term losing streaks – provided only reputable brokerages are used. He has previously worked within financial markets over a 12-year period, including 6 years with Merrill Lynch.

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