Best Trading Platforms
Here you will find our best trading platforms, based on thousands of hours of extensive research, testing and analysis across hundreds of online trading platforms. Upon conclusion of each of our trading platform reviews, the trading brokers team has assigned each trading platform with a rating, and displayed our best trading platforms on this page.
Some of the most important factors that contribute towards a good trading platform have been considered including the features, trading instruments, tools, fees, speeds, ease of use, tutorials, customer service and more.
Having the best trading platforms based on our findings listed in one place can help online traders save time when looking for the best trading platforms according to their individual online trading needs.
Top 5 Trading Platforms
ASIC, BVI, CBI, FFAJ, FSA, FSCA
Min $100 Deposit
FCA, CFTC, NFA, BaFin, FINMA, ASIC, FMA, MAS, FSA, FSCA, DFSA, JFSA, METI, MAFF
Min $250 Deposit
ASIC, FCA, DFSA, SCB, CySEC, BaFin, CMA
Min $200 Deposit
ASIC, CySEC, IFSC
Min $5 Deposit
Each of our chosen best trading platforms have undergone and passed our stringent trading platform reviews with flying colours, based on what the trading brokers team consider to be amongst the most important considerations. These online trading platforms are under strict regulation from some of the most respectable regulatory authorities and are well-established within the online brokerage industry, providing top trading platforms to online traders across the globe.
AvaTrade are one of our top online trading platforms as they offer more than 250+ trading instruments across multiple markets and user-friendly trading platforms. They are one of the world’s largest brokers in terms of volume with some of the best online trading conditions available to traders around the globe. This includes low fees and good execution speeds.
They are also regulated in an impressive 6 jurisdictions including Europe, Australia and South Africa. Their regulatory licenses span over 5 continents. Client funds are held in segregated accounts away from the company’s funds which gives added security.
AvaTrade provide traders of all experience levels with a choice of free online trading platforms that can be used on multiple devices including desktop (Windows / Mac), web and mobile (iPhone / iPad / Android / Tablet). These platforms have a wide range of trading tools and indicators for a convenient and efficient online trading experience.
The trading platforms are MetaTrader 4 (MT4), AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, DupliTrade and ZuluTrade. Beginners may prefer the ease of use of MetaTrader 4 whilst those who want to trade whilst on the go may need the convenience of the AvaTradeGO app to trade from anywhere in the world at any time. AvaTrade also provide clients with a selection of copy trading platforms so that they can copy other traders, these are DupliTrade and ZuluTrade.
Founded in 2006, AvaTrade are still one of the most popular trading platforms available to online traders and continue to innovate their trading services. You can read our full AvaTrade Review to find out more.
|250+ trading instruments||No US clients|
|Flexible trading platforms for multiple devices||No variable spread accounts|
|Free trading tools & indicators|
|Regulation in 6 jurisdictions|
|Educational resources provided|
We consider IG to be one of the best trading platforms due to the leading online brokerage services that they offer via a vast range of powerful yet user-friendly trading platforms. The platforms you can choose from are IG’s proprietary trading platform, ProRealTime (PRT), L2 Dealer or the ever popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform. The broker also offers direct market access (DMA) for professional traders who would like to deal directly into the order books of major equity exchanges.
IG also offer in-platform support that can help traders to make decisions in moments using the powerful tools built into the platforms. These tools can be used to help reinforce decisions with buy and sell signals, react to events with up-to-the-minute Reuters news and inform your trading with expert market analysis.
IG give traders around the globe access to over 16,000+ markets for trading online with tight spreads, low fees and rapid trade execution speeds. The brokers trading instruments include Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Options, Bonds, ETFs and CFDs.
The broker also provides the IG Academy which is a free resource that helps you to develop your trading skills and knowledge. It contains an abundance of learning materials such as trading guides, webinars, tutorials and videos.
Furthermore, IG is a multi-regulated trading platform that can accept US traders, has 24-hour customer support and accepts a variety of convenient account funding options. You can read our full IG Review to find out more.
|Regulated in various jurisdictions||No fixed spread accounts|
|Top trading platforms for desktop, web & mobile devices||$250 minimum deposit|
|Tight spreads, low commission & quick execution speeds|
|Huge range of 16,000+ trading instruments|
|Accept traders in the USA & most other countries|
|Useful trading tools to assist traders|
|Generous selection of educational resources|
Pepperstone is one of our best trading platforms. They offer a wide range of trading instruments including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Bonds, CFDs and ETFs, all across powerful online trading platforms that are suitable for traders of all experience levels.They offer the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) trading platforms along with the advanced cTrader platform. These user-friendly platforms can be used on desktop and mobile devices for trading whilst on the go. Each of the trading platforms have an abundance of built in tools for conducting detailed chart analysis to find potential trading opportunities.
In addition to providing you with free easy to use trading platforms, Pepperstone also offers low cost trading fees, tight spreads and fast trade execution speeds. They are regulated by top regulatory authorities and have an award-winning customer service team. These factors amongst many others make them one of our best trading platforms. You can read our full Pepperstone Review to find out more.
|Wide range of trading instruments||No US clients|
|MetaTrader & cTrader platforms||No fixed spread accounts|
|Tight spreads & low fees||$200 minimum deposit|
|Ultra-low latency execution speeds|
|Deep liquidity pool|
|No dealing desk|
XM Group easily make it as one of our choices for best trading platform. They offer traders across the globe a large range of trading instruments including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies and CFDs.
All of the instruments that they offer can be traded from one online trading account on an impressive selection of 16 variations of the popular MetaTrader 4/5 trading platforms, available on desktop (Windows / Mac), web and mobile (iPhone / iPad / Android / Tablet). There is a platform to suit all types and experience levels of trader. The platforms can be used on desktop, web and mobile devices (iOS and Android).
XM Group clients also gain free access to proprietary trading tools that enhance the already powerful MetaTrader 4/5 trading platforms. These tools can help to quickly and easily perform technical analysis across multiple markets to identify possible trading opportunities.
They have won multiple awards for their trading platforms. The platforms have a no-requote policy, tight spreads, fast execution speeds and competitive fees. Traders have peace of mind as XM Group are regulated by some of the most respected regulatory authorities and offer negative balance protection to eligible clients.
Find out more about why we consider XM Group to be one of the top trading platforms for online trading by reading our detailed XM Group Review.
|Strict regulation by respected regulators||No US clients|
|Range of trading instruments across mutliple asset classes||No fixed spread accounts|
|16 variations of MetaTrader 4/5 trading platforms|
|Proprietary trading tools|
|Good execution speeds with a no-requotes policy|
|Tight spreads & low fees|
|Multiple funding options|
|Min $5 deposit|
IC Markets make it onto our list of best trading platforms for a providing extremely competitive trading conditions via some of the top trading platforms in MetaTrader and cTrader. They have both MetaTrader 4 and the more advanced MetaTrader 5 platforms.
The provided platforms are well known in the online trading industry and used by traders from all across the globe. They have intuitive user-interfaces along with a vast array of built-in trading tools for conducting in-depth market analysis.
You can choose to run the trading platforms via desktop or directly in the web browser which requires no software downloads or installations. There are also mobile trading apps for this who need convenient access to their trading account from within the palm of their hands.
As a brokerage service, IC Markets are one of the world’s largest true ECN trading brokers, offering over 230 trading instruments across multiple markets with tight spreads, low commission fees and high liquidity for fast trade execution at the best available prices with low slippage and low latency.
IC Markets implements over 50 liquidity providers (LPs) which allows traders of all levels to trade on institutional grade liquidity with no dealing desk interference from a diverse range of large LPs such as investment banks, hedge funds and dark pools venues.
The broker has a selection of additional trading tools such as economic calendars, alerts, technical indicators, market data, VPS and more. They also offer a range of educational materials including trading guides and video tutorials for all experience levels. You can read our full IC Markets Review to find out more.
|230+ trading instruments||No US clients|
|Institutional grade liquidity for tight spreads & rapid execution speeds||No fixed spread accounts|
|Intuitive, powerful & flexible trading platforms||Min $200 deposit|
|Educational resources & trading tools|
How did Trading Brokers choose our best trading platforms?
Following on from our best trading platforms list, we will now look at what trading platforms are used for and the most important factors to consider when looking for a reliable trading platform.
What is an online trading platform?
An online trading platform allows traders to access different global markets for speculating on the price movements of various trading instruments. This can include Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Options, Bonds, ETFs and CFDs.
In the past, investors and traders would have had to go through an offline broker which meant that the markets were less accessible than they are today. As technology has improved over the years, there are now many online brokerages to choose from. Anyone aspiring to be a successful trader can open a trading account with an online broker and gain access to the brokers trading platforms for online trading from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Most brokers provide these platforms free of charge and for use on desktop and mobile devices.
Through a trading platform you can view real time bid/ask prices of various assets and load charts that show the historical and current prices of chosen assets over multiple timeframes ranging from tick to yearly charts. You can add technical indicators to these charts to help identify potential trending and ranging market conditions. These indicators can provide trading signals and are often used as part of an overall trading strategy that involves technical, fundamental, sentiment and price action analysis. When you find a suitable trading opportunity, you can execute, manage and close your buy or sell position directly through the trading platform.
What makes a good online trading platform?
Trading platform regulation
When you choose an online trading platform it is very important to ensure that the brokerage providing the platform is regulated by a respected government authority. The most respected regulatory authorities to look for include the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom.
Investors have more protection when using a regulated broker as they have to conduct business according to strict rules and regulations put in place to protect investors. If a broker claims to be regulated, you can verify this by checking the broker’s license number with the relevant authorities to ensure the regulation is legitimate and up to date.
Trading platform instruments
Each broker will offer a range of different markets and trading instruments to trade via their online trading platforms. If you wish to trade a particular asset class such as forex, stocks, cryptos, etc, you should check whether the broker offers that market through its platforms. It may also be wise to consider if you plan to diversify your investment portfolio in the future. If so, the more trading products and markets offered by the broker, the easier it could be to expand your portfolio when the time is right.
Trading platform tools
All trading platforms come with a range of free built in trading tools to assist with your online trading, helping to improve overall efficiency and performance. These can include technical indicators for analysing charts such as a moving average, MACD, Bollinger Bands, RSI, CCI and many more. Some platforms offer fundamental analysis tools such as built in economic calendars to efficiently keep track of the latest market news releases. They may also have trading calculators to help with planning your trades. The more advanced platforms will have depth of market (DOM) with level 2 pricing and sentiment tools that show how many traders are buying/selling a particular instrument.
If you require a specific set of trading tools or would like access to as many as possible, you should check what trading platforms the broker offers along with the trading tools included. Some trading tools are stand alone and thus will not be incorporated into the platforms but can still be very useful.
Trading platform fees
Most brokers will provide traders with free online trading platforms although there are some who charge monthly and volume-based fees, usually for specialised trading platforms that have specific features a professional investor may need. That being said, the free platforms will most likely be sufficient enough for the average retail trader.
Trading platform commissions
In addition to potential fees for gaining access to the brokers trading platforms, you should consider other online trading costs. Most online brokerages will charge a commission for placing trades in addition to the spread and overnight swap fee. These costs can vary significantly from broker to broker so it is important to consider the overall costs you will incur and the affect that will have on your money management.
Trading platform spreads
The spread is the difference between the buy and sell (bid/ask) price which can vary depending on the volume of liquidity and quality of liquidity providers that an online broker has. Some brokers offer fixed and variable spread accounts, some will offer commission free accounts but instead mark up the spread to make up for this. In general, the more liquidity that the broker has, the tighter the spreads can be. It is important to account for the spread when planning your trading strategy, especially if you are planning on using scalping strategy.
Trading platform swaps
If you hold a position with your online broker overnight then you will probably need to pay a swap fee. This is an interest fee for the procedure of moving open positions from one day to another, also known as the rollover. This is another cost to factor in to your money management planning. Some brokers offer swap free Islamic trading accounts that conform with Sharia law which allows Muslims to engage in online trading through their platforms.
Other trading platform fees
Along with trading platform, spread, commission and swap fees, most online brokers will charge additional fees that should be checked and clearly understood. Other fees that are worth considering include withdrawal and inactivity fees.
Trading platform usability
If you are already familiar with a specific trading platform then it could be a good idea to choose an online broker that offers that platform. However, if you have yet to use a trading platform then it may be a good idea to start with a broker that offers a user-friendly trading platform which has plenty of tutorials available to help you learn how to trade online. MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform is often considered as one of the most intuitive and easy to use trading platforms which makes it a popular choice amongst new traders.
Trading platform leverage
Nearly all online brokers offer leveraged trading via their platforms. Leverage basically means that you can open a position larger than you could without it. If for example you had leverage of 1:50 and a trading account balance of $1,000, you could effectively open a position size of $50,000 (1,000 x 50 = 50,000). Although leverage can increase profit potential, it also increases trading risk and thus, can lead to large losses. It is imperative that you have a thorough understanding of leverage and the significant risks involved before you start trading online. Check the broker offers a leverage that you require via your preferred trading platform.
Trading platform education
Some brokers also provide traders with educational resources such as videos and trading guides to help them improve their trading knowledge and skills. They may include detailed tutorials on how to use trading platforms which could be helpful for those who are new to online trading and need help to familiarise themselves with the different platforms available to them.
Trading platform minimum requirements
You will need to make sure that the trading platform will run on your computer, VPS or mobile device by checking the specification requirements. Each online broker trading platform will have a minimum deposit requirement which is worth considering.
Trading platform funding
Each online broker will offer different options for making deposits and withdrawals to and from the trading platform. Most brokers accept bank wire transfers and credit/debit cards but some traders prefer online payment processors such as Skrill, PayPal, Neteller, etc. Ensure that the trading platform supports your preferred funding method.
Trading platform customer service
If you have an issue with your trading platform that you need help with, it is important that the broker has a prompt and efficient customer service team. Online chat is often the quickest way to speak with someone whilst other options include telephone and email. The more hours the brokerage support team is available, the better. Some run 24/5 whilst others are available 24/7. You should also consider the brokers office locations as they may be in a different time zone to you which could affect the response time. Check that the broker has a method of contacting support that is most convenient for you and available in your language.
How to start trading online?
Now that you have had a brief overview of what trading platforms are and what to look for, you may be considering opening a trading account with an online broker to gain access to their trading platforms. This can be a quick and easy process that requires completing an online registration form. Simply choose an online trading broker, follow the account opening process and you will be able to start trading online through one of their trading platforms.
Need help choosing from the best trading platforms?
If you are still unsure which is the best trading platform for you then you can use our free online broker comparison tool to quickly compare online brokers based on regulations, minimum deposit, leverage, spreads, commissions, funding options and more. You can also read our broker reviews and choose from our best brokers, best trading platforms, best copy trading platforms, best social trading platforms and best trading apps. If you would like to look for the best trading brokers in a particular country, we have pages dedicated to our best brokers USA, best brokers UK, best brokers Australia, best brokers South Africa and best brokers Canada.
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