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MetaTrader 4 is a trading platform developed by MetaQuotes Software Inc. for trading Forex and CFDs (contracts for differences). It is freely available for download as software, either directly from the MetaQuotes website, or from a large majority of Forex and CFD brokers. As such, it is not really a “product” as traders cannot purchase it; it is a platform which you can choose to use as a trading tool if you wish. Most Forex and CFD brokers offer the use of the MetaTrader 4 platform with their trading accounts, either as the only option, or as one of at least two trading platform options. MetaTrader 4 is without question the most widely used and persistently popular online trading platform in the world when it comes to trading Forex and CFDs. However, despite this strong popularity, the MetaQuotes Software have announced that they will not be granting any new licenses to brokers for MetaTrader 4, which means that new brokers will not be able to offer it as a platform for their customers. They have also stated that they are no longer offering any technical updates or support to or for the product’s software, although as at January 2018 it is still possible to download a functional demo account. These developments show that MetaQuotes want brokers and traders to move away from MetaTrader 4 towards another product they offer, MetaTrader 5. Despite the same name and sequential number, MetaTrader 5 is by no means an upgraded 2.0 version of MetaTrader 4, so it is not clear how this situation will work out. Luckily, if you are working with an established Forex or CFD broker, you should be able to use MetaTrader 4 for some time longer, if you wish.
If you are reading this review, you probably either want to learn more about the features of the MetaTrader 4 platform, or you need to decide whether to use this platform or another trading platform. As almost every Forex /CFD broker offers the use of MetaTrader 4 at the time of writing, it is a common decision which new traders face. Of course, it is impossible to say MetaTrader 4 is better or worse than other options, because it depends on what alternatives are available, and the alternative is often a proprietary trading platform unique to the Forex / CFD broker you are considering. Without knowing what your specific alternative is, no comparison or qualification can be offered.
It is fair to say that new traders often worry too much about which trading platform to choose. This is partly because too many brokers make a big deal out of trading platforms to hide the fact that they offer poor spreads, overnight fees, and service to their customers. The more often you trade, the more important your trading platform becomes: if you are trading once per day or per week, fast execution and navigation becomes almost irrelevant. It is important to understand that a trading platform will not help you become a better or more profitable trader. The most vital considerations are whether a platform is easy to understand and use, and whether it works efficiently without bugs, glitches, or any kind of crashes, which can be costly and disappointing in trading. There is very little room for execution mistakes in trading. Most traders would probably agree that MetaTrader 4 passes these tests. Let’s advance to look at the pros and cons of using the MetaTrader 4 platform.