MetaTrader 4 is the most popular and versatile of the forex trading platforms out there (despite the developer trying to get traders to migrate to MetaTrader 5).
So, if you don’t have a specific reason to use another program, you’re probably best off starting with MT4, as it’s commonly referred to.
The first good news is that the program itself is actually free for forex traders.
Metaquotes, the company that makes MT4, allows people to download it for free from their website. But, you can’t trade real money with it unless you have a forex broker.
Otherwise, you can only operate with a generic forex demo account that doesn’t take into consideration a few important details.
Some Recommendations First
If you are serious about trying forex out for real, it’s recommended that you create a demo account with the forex broker you are considering working with.
Then, you can download MT4 for free from their website, and it will operate with the same trading conditions that the broker offers. Not only can you test your forex skills, but you can test your potential broker out as well.
MT4 works on most systems. Basically, if you can read this, your computer can probably handle MT4.
But if you are not interested in downloading the program, there is a web-based version as well, though it’s not as easy to work with as the stand-alone program.
Once you’ve applied for a forex demo account, just go to your broker’s download page and click download.
The file isn’t all that big, so it should download relatively quickly. Then set up is really easy:
- Open the downloaded file. You will be given a user agreement.
- Click next. The program will install, you can ignore the “signup for trading services” button because you have your account information from your broker.
- When it’s done installing, click finish. It will create a shortcut on your desktop, and in your home menu. If it’s not immediately visible, you can search for your broker’s name, and it should show up.
- Open the program. Your browser will open a window advertising MT5, which you can ignore, or just close.
- Click on File, and from the dropdown menu, “sign into account”. There you will be prompted to pick a server, which should be in the email you received from your broker.
- Click next. There you have to put in the login and password you got in the same email from your broker.
- Click finish, and you can start using MetaTrader 4!
The process is even simpler. Instead of downloading it from your broker’s webpage, you search your App Store for your broker’s MT4 program.
Once installed, you just have to select the server, and input the username and password your forex broker gave you.