What Is MetaTrader 4?
If you are already a trader, you surely know what MetaTrader 4 is. If you are new to trading, you will find the answer here. MetaTrader 4 (also known as MT4) is one of the most popular trading platforms in the world. In other words, MetaTrader is a software that allows you to trade online, and it is free!
MetaTrader 4 is a very powerful platform as it enhances the trading experience with additional components. It is in fact possible to trade from a mobile device, run automated trading through expert advisors, run scripts, watch custom indicators, subscribe to trading signals, and extend the functionalities with components from the MQL5 Market. If all of this doesn't make sense, don't worry, it will later in the reading.
It is important to understand that MetaTrader 4 is a complete trading platform. It includes all the necessary instruments to trade online.
Depending on the broker that you use, you can trade online:
- Stocks (Google, Apple, Microsoft, and so forth).
- Indexes (S&P500 and similar).
- Currency pairs (EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, and so on).
- Commodities (Gold, Silver, Oil to mention some).
MetaTrader 4 allows you to see current prices and also to download free historical data. You can open charts in different time frames to have a better understanding of the trend of the market, you can add indicators to perform technical analysis.
With MetaTrader 4, you can subscribe to trading signals in order to trade what other traders are trading in automatic mode.
One of the most powerful feature of MetaTrader 4 is its ability to be customized to your needs. Through the MQL language you can, in fact, create scripts that perform specific actions, custom indicators if the existing ones are not what you look for, expert advisors to perform automatic tasks, even trade automatically without the need of your supervision. You can do this with MetaEditor.
MetaTrader was first developed around the year 2002 by MetaQuotes Software and there are two major versions: MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5). Although not the most recent, MetaTrader 4 still holds the leadership in popularity among brokers and traders. Over the years, developers from all over the world have created a huge number of free and commercial components to make MT4 even more powerful.
MetaTrader 4 is available for all the most popular operating systems. You can find it for:
However, be advised that MetaTrader is not native for Mac and Linux. Thus if you want to run it on those operating systems you will need to apply some workaround and additional software.
MetaTrader has several components. As a trader, you shouldn't be concerned of knowing all of them in detail. However, it is beneficial to know what they are and their function.
- Client Terminal is the software used by the traders to see the prices and submit the orders.
- Mobile App is an app specifically for mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.
- Server is the software running in the back end, usually by the broker. It processes the prices and orders and logs all the activities.
- Administrator — component to manage the Server.
- Manager — to manage the customers' accounts.
- Data Center — a sort of a proxy, a middleman, to facilitate the operations between the Server and the Clients.
As mentioned before, as a trader, you don't need to know all of the components, you will be only using the Mobile App and Client Terminal.
At this point, you should have a good idea of what MetaTrader 4 trading platform is. This software is very popular thanks to its usability and extended features. You can definitely benefit from using it in Forex trading. You can further learn how to install MetaTrader 4 client terminal to get started and the continue reading about how to open a MetaTrader demo account to practice trading.