MetaTrader is a well-known trade information platform designed to provide a full-fledged dealing service. This terminal is used not only by traders, but also by large banks, broker companies and other financial market participants all over the world. Today, the most popular platform versions are 4 and 5.
How it began
The first version of MetaTrader was released in 2000. It was called FX Charts at the time. The terminal was developed by MetaQuotes Software Corp.
At that time, such broker software was considered innovative and was highly appreciated by users. Other platforms were noticeably inferior in terms of flexibility and implementation of individual functions, and they had a significantly higher price.
The new terminal for trading on the Forex market worked faster than others, and had a simpler intuitive interface. But FX Charts also had its drawbacks. The developer fixed them in the second version of the terminal, which was released in 2001 as MetaQuotes.
The updated platform allowed not only opening transactions in Forex, but also trading using CFD (derivative financial instruments). The availability of such assets enabled to play up and down with leverage of up to 100:1. As a result, CDF allowed small investors to try their hand at trading.
The well-known programming language MQL (MetaQuotes Language) was developed for the second version of the terminal. With it's help it became possible to create various programs for trade optimization, such as:
- technical indicators.
Such software was developed with the aim of simplifying analytics, as well as automating and accelerating the trading process.
Almost immediately after the release of the second platform, MetaQuotes Software Corp programmers began to develop an improved third version. It was named MetaTrader 3.
The following new features were implemented:
- advanced programming language – MQL II;
- access to futures markets;
- free library with a full set of functions for programming custom applications.
Using the library built into MetaTrader, brokers began to create custom tailored terminals for their clients. Around the same time, PDAs and mobile communicators began to gain popularity, so the developers released a version of the terminal for portable devices.
This trading platform deserves special attention, since it was the number one terminal among brokers and traders around the world. In fact, it opened a new round in the development of forex and investments in general. MT4 was officially released in 2005, and so far it considered to be one of the best in its segment.
The high demand for MetaTrader 4 was primarily thanks to a well-designed set of functions and the MQL 4 programming language. Traders and brokers could trade as accurate, fast and convenient as possible. In addition, they could set any trading strategy to an automated mode.
The MT 4 terminal contains more components compared to previous versions:
- Server. This is the central part of the system, which serves as a "brain", which controls everything. It also stores data on all traders' operations, including the transaction history.
- Data Center. Provides the required high level protection against DDoS attacks. It also allows scaling trading processes, increasing software performance and reducing the load on the central server.
- Administrator. This service enables remote control over the server. It can be used for configuring financial instrument parameters and databases.
- Manager. Ensures convenient management of user accounts and performance of all kinds of trading operations.
- Client Terminal. This is the trading terminal itself, which traders install on their PCs.
- Mobile Terminals. Mobile version of the trading platform designed for working with financial markets from tablets and smartphones.
- Web Terminal. Enables trading through a web browser. It supports all the related functions. However, it cannot be linked with third-party programs.
The advantages of MetaTrader 4 include:
- Convenient interface compared to similar software.
- Versatility: the terminal does not required installing additional software.
- Personal MetaTrader 4 Client Terminal module.
- MetaEditor: compiler and editor for trading robots. It allows optimizing the operation of Expert Advisors and testing them.
- High level of security thanks to 129-bit encryption system. The user's IP address is always hidden.
- Advanced charting function.
- Reliable and convenient communication tools that allow brokers to keep in touch with traders.
- Lightweight. It does no burden the PC and respond quickly to user actions.
- Supports all currency pairs. Allows accessing commodities, stocks and derivatives.
- A trader can open a large number of chart windows.
- All trading history of an individual trader is saved to an archive.
- It supports different account formats provided by brokers.
The MetaTrader 4 terminal is designed so that even new users can quickly master its functions. The embedded MQL4 programming language allows advanced users to create complex trading robots.
MQL Market is a software store from the creators of MetaTrader
When version 5 was released, the programming language was also updated to MQL 5. It has advanced functionality and is very simple: even a complete novice in application development can master it.
A website with the same name was launched for publishing ready programs in MQL 5. This resource contains articles on the development of trading applications, a forum, a calendar, signals and the main section: Market MQL 5.
Here anyone can either buy or sell various programs for two versions of the terminal: MT4 and MT5:
The website also has a special section Freelance, where traders can order the development of Expert Advisors based on their own trading algorithm. And programmers, in their turn, can take orders for application development.
All robots, indicators and advisors are checked before publishing. Even after the software is published in the market, traders can test it for free in real trading conditions. You can rent them or use demo versions.
MetaTrader 5 is the best version of the terminal
This version of the trading platform was released in 2010. The updated terminal is very similar to version 4. However it has more features and access to different markets. There are also mobile versions for iOS and Android devices.
For those who start Forex trading we recommend to download MetaTrader 5. It offers the widest range of tools and the most flexible trade management. It also uses the latest version of the MQL language and has a built-in Market. That is, trading robots can be bought and installed right in the terminal.
If compare MT4 and MT5, the latest version is better for the following reasons:
- it allows full-fledged trading on the stock market and on several exchanges at the same time;
- it supports fundamental analysis;
- 4 modes of execution of all types of orders are available to the trader;
- development environment has been improved (MQL5);
- there is an application market;
- MQL5 Wizard is provided, which is a generator of trading strategies and robots;
- there is a depth of market display, which allows monitoring quotes and volumes of transactions;
- 21 timeframes are available (instead of the previous 9);
- the range of hourly and minute charts has been expanded;
- 38 built-in indicators are available (instead of 30 in MT4);
- 6 types of pending orders instead of 4;
- the Trade Alerts service is linked, which allows you to copy the operations of the best traders;
- 4 servers are used, instead of one: trade, access, history and backup servers;
- it supports displaying reports on performed operations not only in the form of a table, but also in form of charts;
- it supports testing strategies on real quote arrays;
- the One Click Trading function allows opening orders in one click directly from the chart, without using the menu.
All these advantages make MetaTrader 5 a significantly superior multi-market platform compared to MT4. This version gradually gains popularity, with more and more traders using it. And it remains free.
Trading robots are also developed in the MQL5 language more often now. Obviously, there will be more and more Expert Advisors for MT5 every new year, and the same cannot be said for MT4. Programs for version 4 are not compatible with MetaTrader 5. And this is another reason why it is better to start with the current version, since everything will be developed for it in the future.
And if you also need specialized software for Forex trading, you can visit our catalog at our website: Here you will find many high-quality robots, advisors and indicators for both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 terminals.