MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) are two of the most widely used trading platforms in the world, developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation. They are popular among traders and brokers alike due to their user-friendly interface, advanced charting capabilities, and customizable features. Both platforms offer a range of trading tools, including technical analysis indicators, automated trading options, and the ability to trade multiple assets classes including forex, stocks, and futures. However, despite being developed by the same company, there are some key differences between MT4 vs MT5 that traders should be aware of when choosing a platform. In this article, we will compare and contrast these two platforms, highlighting their respective strengths and weaknesses to help traders make an informed decision about which platform best suits their needs.
History and development
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) was first released in 2005 by MetaQuotes Software Corporation, and quickly became one of the most popular trading platforms in the world. It offered traders a range of advanced charting tools, automated trading options, and an easy-to-use interface that allowed them to analyze and execute trades quickly and efficiently.
Over time, MT4 evolved to include more features and functionality, such as the ability to trade multiple asset classes, support for different order types, and the addition of technical analysis indicators. It also became popular among third-party developers who created custom indicators and trading robots to enhance its capabilities even further.
In 2010, MetaQuotes released MetaTrader 5 (MT5) as a successor to MT4, with the goal of offering traders even more advanced tools and features. MT5 added more asset classes, including stocks and futures, and included more technical indicators and charting tools than its predecessor. It also introduced a new programming language, MQL5, which allowed for more complex and sophisticated trading robots.
Despite the added functionality, MT5 was initially met with some resistance from the trading community, as many traders were already familiar with MT4 and reluctant to switch to a new platform. As a result, many brokers continued to offer both platforms side-by-side, with some even choosing to stick exclusively with MT4.
Today, both MT4 and MT5 continue to be popular trading platforms, with MT4 still being the more widely used of the two. However, as technology and market demands evolve, it remains to be seen how the two platforms will continue to evolve and compete in the years ahead.
User interface and features
When it comes to user interface and features, there are some notable differences between MT4 and MT5. Here are some of the key areas where they differ:
- Charting tools: Both platforms offer a range of charting tools, but MT5 has a more advanced set of tools compared to MT4. For example, MT5 allows traders to open up to 100 charts at once, compared to just 8 in MT4. MT5 also offers more timeframes and chart types, including tick charts and Renko charts, whereas MT4 only has nine chart timeframes and no Renko chart option.
- Technical indicators: MT5 has more built-in technical indicators than MT4, and also allows traders to add custom indicators more easily. In addition, MT5 offers more advanced indicators, such as the Ichimoku Cloud and the Zigzag indicator, which are not available in MT4.
- Order types: MT5 offers more order types than MT4, including stop limit orders and partial order filling. MT5 also allows traders to execute orders directly from the chart, which is not possible in MT4.
- Customization options: Both platforms offer customization options, but MT5 has more flexibility in this area. For example, MT5 allows traders to create custom symbols by combining different assets, and also allows for more advanced trade management options, such as the ability to set up advanced stop loss and take profit orders.
Overall, while both platforms are user-friendly and offer a range of features, MT5 has a more advanced set of tools compared to MT4. However, some traders may prefer the simpler interface of MT4, especially if they are new to trading or do not require the advanced functionality offered by MT5. Ultimately, the choice between the two platforms will depend on the individual trader’s needs and preferences.
One of the key differences between MT4 and MT5 is the programming language used for creating custom indicators and trading robots. MT4 uses MQL4, while MT5 uses MQL5. Here are some of the differences between these two languages:
- Syntax: While MQL5 is similar to MQL4, there are some syntax differences between the two languages. For example, in MQL5, variables are declared with the “var” keyword, whereas in MQL4, they are declared with the “double” or “int” keywords.
- Object-oriented programming: MQL5 is designed to support object-oriented programming (OOP), which allows for more complex and modular coding. MQL4 does not have native support for OOP, although it is still possible to write OOP code in MQL4 using certain techniques.
- Backward compatibility: Because of the differences in syntax and OOP support, it can be challenging to migrate code from MQL4 to MQL5. While some code can be easily converted, more complex code may require a complete rewrite.
- Functionality: MQL5 offers more built-in functions and libraries than MQL4, which can make it easier to write complex trading algorithms. However, MQL4 still has a large community of developers who have created many custom indicators and trading robots for the platform.
Ultimately, the choice of programming language will depend on the individual trader’s needs and preferences. Traders who are familiar with MQL4 may find it easier to stick with MT4, while those who require more advanced programming capabilities may prefer the object-oriented approach of MQL5. However, it is important to note that it can be difficult to migrate code between the two platforms, so traders should carefully consider their options before making a decision.
MetaTrader Indicators and Tools
In today’s fast-paced trading environment, traders need to be able to quickly and efficiently analyze market data and make informed trading decisions. That’s where trading tools and indicators come in – they provide valuable insights into market trends, price action, and risk management. The Supply and Demand Indicator, Supertrend Indicator, Currency Strength Meter, Trade Panel, and Risk Manager are all examples of powerful trading tools that can help traders achieve their goals.
The Supply and Demand Indicator is designed to help traders identify key levels of support and resistance in the market, based on the balance of supply and demand. The Supertrend Indicator, on the other hand, is used to identify trends in the market and provide trading signals based on those trends. The Currency Strength Meter is a tool that measures the strength of different currency pairs, which can help traders make informed decisions about which pairs to trade. The Trade Panel is a comprehensive trading tool that allows traders to manage their positions, set stop losses and take profits, and more. Finally, the Risk Manager is a tool that helps traders manage their risk exposure and ensure that they are trading within their risk tolerance.
By using these tools in conjunction with sound trading strategies, traders can gain a better understanding of the market and make more informed trading decisions. It’s important to note, however, that no trading tool or indicator is foolproof – traders still need to exercise discipline, patience, and sound risk management practices in order to succeed. With that said, these tools can provide valuable insights and improve trading.
Backtesting and optimization
Backtesting and optimization are important tools for traders who want to test their trading strategies before applying them in a live market. Here are some key differences between the backtesting and optimization capabilities of MT4 and MT5:
- Testing modes: Both MT4 and MT5 offer different testing modes, including “Every tick” mode, “Control points” mode, and “Open prices” mode. However, MT5 also offers a “Tick by tick” mode, which allows for more precise testing and can be particularly useful for scalping strategies.
- Speed and accuracy: MT5’s backtesting engine is faster and more accurate than MT4’s, thanks in part to its ability to perform multi-threaded testing. This means that MT5 can test strategies more quickly and with greater precision than MT4.
- Optimization: Both platforms offer optimization tools that allow traders to test different parameters for their trading strategies. However, MT5’s optimization tool is more advanced than MT4’s, offering more optimization methods and the ability to run multiple optimization passes.
- Reporting: MT5’s reporting functionality is more detailed and customizable than MT4’s, allowing traders to generate more comprehensive reports on their backtesting results.
Overall, while both platforms offer backtesting and optimization capabilities, MT5’s more advanced tools and faster testing engine make it a more attractive option for traders who require precise and detailed testing results. However, MT4 may still be a suitable choice for traders who do not require the advanced functionality offered by MT5, or who are more comfortable with the MT4 platform.
Security and reliability
Both MT4 and MT5 are developed by MetaQuotes, a company with a strong reputation in the trading industry. Here are some key considerations for the security and reliability of these platforms:
- Data encryption: Both platforms use 128-bit SSL encryption to protect user data, including login credentials and trading activity. This ensures that data transmitted between the platform and the server is secure and cannot be intercepted by third parties.
- Server uptime: Both platforms rely on MetaQuotes’ servers to execute trades and store data. While the uptime of these servers is generally high, there have been instances of server downtime and outages in the past. Traders should ensure that they have backup plans in place in case of server issues.
- Potential vulnerabilities: Like any software, both MT4 and MT5 may be vulnerable to security threats such as hacking and malware. However, MetaQuotes has implemented a number of security measures to protect the platforms, including regular updates and patches to address potential vulnerabilities.
- Custom indicators and trading robots: Custom indicators and trading robots developed by third-party developers may pose a security risk, as they may contain malicious code. Traders should ensure that they only use indicators and robots from trusted sources, and carefully review the code before implementing it in their trading strategies.
In general, both MT4 and MT5 are considered to be secure and reliable trading platforms. However, traders should always take steps to protect their accounts and data, such as using strong passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and staying vigilant for potential security threats.
Market adoption and support
MT4 has been available since 2005 and has had significant market adoption, with many brokers offering the platform to their clients. As of 2021, it is estimated that over 1,000 brokers offer MT4 as a trading platform, and it remains a popular choice among traders due to its user-friendly interface and extensive library of custom indicators and trading robots.
MT5, on the other hand, has been slower to gain market adoption. While it was released in 2010, it has not seen the same level of popularity as MT4, and as of 2021, it is estimated that only around 400 brokers offer MT5 as a trading platform. This is partly due to the fact that MT5 is not backwards-compatible with MT4, meaning that traders who have developed strategies for MT4 must rewrite them for use on MT5.
However, despite its slower adoption rate, MT5 has some advantages over MT4 that may make it a more attractive choice for certain traders. For example, MT5 offers more advanced tools for trading on different asset classes, such as stocks and futures, and its backtesting and optimization capabilities are more advanced than those of MT4.
Both MT4 and MT5 are supported by MetaQuotes, which provides regular updates and technical support to traders and brokers. Additionally, there is a large community of third-party developers who create custom indicators and trading robots for both platforms, which can be found on the MetaTrader Market or other online forums.
In summary, while MT4 remains the more popular choice among traders and brokers, MT5 has some advantages that may make it a better choice for certain types of trading strategies. Traders should carefully consider their needs and priorities when choosing between these two platforms, and seek support from MetaQuotes and third-party developers as needed.
- User interface: MT4 has a simpler interface that is easy to use, while MT5 has a more complex interface with more advanced trading tools.
- Features: MT5 offers more advanced features for trading on different asset classes, such as stocks and futures, while MT4 is more focused on forex trading.
- Programming languages: MT4 uses the MQL4 programming language, while MT5 uses the more advanced MQL5 language.
- Backtesting and optimization: MT5 offers more advanced testing modes and faster and more accurate testing results than MT4.
- Market adoption: MT4 has a much larger user base and is offered by more brokers than MT5.
When deciding which platform to use, traders should consider their individual needs and preferences. MT4 may be better suited for novice traders who are focused on forex trading and are looking for a simple interface and extensive library of custom indicators and trading robots. MT5 may be more appropriate for experienced traders who trade on multiple asset classes and need access to advanced trading tools and faster testing capabilities.
Looking to the future, it is likely that both platforms will continue to evolve and improve over time. MetaQuotes has already released several updates and new features for both platforms in recent years, and may continue to do so in response to feedback from users and changes in the trading industry. Ultimately, the choice between MT4 and MT5 will depend on the specific needs and goals of each trader, and it is important to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest developments in both platforms.