MetaTrader 4

MetaTrader is a free Forex trading software developed by MetaQuotes and released in 2005. It’s considered to be one of the best trading platforms for Forex, with even the more modern offerings failing to dethrone it.

MetaTrader 4 allows you to make money on Forex with a consistent and useful interface. Monitor, maintain and manage Forex trading accounts. It supports indicators, expert advisers and other tools for the real-time market analysis. You can create your own instruments and share them with other traders.

Who uses MetaTrader 4 for PC

  • Forex traders, to monitor the market and manage their orders;
  • Forex brokers, to process the orders from the traders and exchange mail with them;
  • Market analysts, to calculate statistics and evaluate the data from the indicators;
  • PAMM-account managers, to place and control their orders on different accounts;
  • PAMM account holders, to check on their accounts and communicate with the managers.

Overall, MetaTrader 4 is a universal tool that suits everyone who is interested in Forex. It may require some additional tweaks, however, it is highly customizable and accessible.

Benefits of MetaTrader 4 for PC

  • Manage your account. Open, close, and modify orders on the market. Use both Instant and Market execution. Made decisions on the fly with One-Click Trading.
  • Analyze data at 9 timeframes. Enjoy the constant flow of data each minute or spot the global tendencies on the monthly graph.
  • Print your own graphs. Make the data easy-to-read with custom colour schemes, graph types, indicators and marks.
  • Automate your trading. Purchase pre-made expert advisors on the Market or build your own with the MQL4 scripting language.
  • Measure the Market Depth. Always know the latest market tendencies with an array of technical analysis tools.
  • Get the latest news. Receive real-time financial data as well as the crucial alerts with free internal mail customized to your preferences.
  • Receive trading signals. Follow the best traders online and learn their craft by replicating their orders.
  • Integrate all your tools. Add your own data sources, plugins and feeds to create a single powerful trading solution.
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Download MetaTrader 4

The Magic of MQL

MQL is the most advanced scripting language for the Forex trading platform. It allows creating the advanced expert advisers that can execute complex strategies without human interventions.

  • Design custom tools. Write your own indicators, expert advisors and market analysis tools.
  • Expand your arsenal. Integrate third-party software into MetaTrader with custom .dll libraries.
  • Use familiar structures. Don’t feel stressed about learning a new language – MQL is loosely based on the C++, so all of your skills are completely transferable.

There is a whole community of the MT4 scriptwriters, which will be useful to any Forex newbie. Aside from talking about their favourite strategies and coding itself, the forum is often a source of an interesting discussion. Just take everything with a grain of salt – this community tends to have a little too bitter view of the Forex.

Overview of MetaTrader 4 for PC

Overview of MetaTrader 4 for PC
The interface consists of five major parts:
  1. The menu bar contains all of the control elements – buttons, switches and sub-menus. Here you can manage your trading with the New Order and Autotrading buttons, switch the look of the charts, test your strategy, etc.
  2. The main window shows real-time data regarding the pricing of your financial instrument. Use mouse wheel to scroll through the chart and tabs at the bottom to switch between them.
  3. The session manager lists all your accounts, available indicators, advisors and scripts. Drag the tools you need onto the main window in order to deploy them.
  4. The currency manager lists all the available currencies and other trading instruments. Double-click any of them in order to place an order or drag them onto the main window to create a chart.
  5. The status bar shows the status of the orders, as well as other supplementary data like order history, news, alerts, mail, etc.
Pending Order
Instant Execution

Chart Customizations with MetaTrader 4 on PC

Chart Customizations with MetaTrader 4 on PC
Chart Customizations with MetaTrader 4 on PC
MetaTrader’s chart out on PC is completely customizable. You can create chart templates, that determine:
  • The colour scheme of the charts (you can design your own too);
  • The overall type of the chart (bar, candlestick or line);
  • The indicators and scripts deployed to the chart.

You can switch templates with a drop-down or a context menu.

At the end of the day, MetaTrader 4 may look intimidating – especially with if it’s the first time you see a Forex terminal. However, it’s very intuitive and easy-to-use once you actually start using it.

Alternatives to MetaTrader 4 for PC

If you don’t like MetaTrader, there are two apps you might turn to – Ninja Trader and cTrader. Unfortunately, neither of them offers a competitive experience.

Ninja Trader

Ninja Trader has been around even longer than MetaTrader, yet has been playing catch-up for the entirety of the time. It’s more dated, more ugly and it doesn’t have as big of a community. While Ninja Trader does offer a feature parity, the execution is not nearly as good.

However, it does have a single advantage – the Depth of Market interface. While MetaTrader 4 does have this feature, the Ninja Trader’s solution is far more sophisticated and useful. But that doesn’t outweigh the overall clumsiness of the terminal and downright bad compatibility – there is no Wine support for Ninja Trader and no Linux version in sight.

Overall, Ninja Trader is a good trading terminal. But not quite as good as MetaTrader 4.

cTrader

cTrader is everything a MetaTrader 4 successor should be – except MT4 does not need a successor. Despite a modernised interface and a lot of streamlining, cTrader has failed to gather a community similar to the one at MQL5. And it definitely shows.

Despite being a better foundation, cTrader does not have as many options and features. There are fewer indicators, fewer advisors and much less community support. And just like with Ninja Trader, there is no Linux version and no Wine support.

cTrader is heavily inspired by MetaTrader and attempts to improve on its weak points. It has a lot of prospects, but right now MetaTrader is still better.

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PC
Download MetaTrader 4

MetaQuotes maintains only a Windows version, but you can install MetaTrader 4 on Linux tand MacOS using Wine1. You can also trade from your Android or iOS mobile device, as long as you are online.

1 There is no MT4 Market on Wine – you can’t download new indicators and advisors. If you are serious about trading, you should look into getting a Windows PC or a virtual machine.