Forex trading platforms are the modern gateway to investing in international currency markets. Regardless of your trading style, the platform technology you use can affect nearly all aspects of your trading experience. From accessing research to analyzing news events or performing technical analysis on charts, forex trading platforms share the common goal of helping you trade and discover trading opportunities, while managing your personal investments.
Over the past decade, forex trading platform technology has continued to evolve steadily across devices, with a shift from desktop to web and then to mobile. With ongoing enhancements to the user experience throughout the year, forex brokers compete for market share amid shifting regulations and the evolving needs of traders.
After testing 20 international forex brokers, it was clear that the best forex platforms managed to pack a slew of features and tools into a simplified user experience, while keeping the technology up to date with the latest supported standards. All in all, these platforms provide customers a rich and pleasurable experience in all critical areas of forex trading.
First place in the category Platforms & Tools goes to Saxo Bank for its innovative, web-based platform, SaxoTrader GO, which was fully responsive on mobile with syncing watch lists and charts. The mobile platform nearly matched the advanced features of its desktop-based platform counterpart, including research, charting, and third-party automated pattern-recognition tools. The firm’s platform suite is a winning trifecta wrapped in an ultra-modern interface that makes Saxo Bank a winner in 2017.
Second place goes to Dukascopy Bank for its highly versatile and innovative JForex 3 desktop platform, which is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Charting in JForex 3 comes packed with 277 technical indicators, and the platform supports automated trading strategies, helping it compete with popular third-party software, such as the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform and cTrader platform. The broker also offers a lighter web version of JForex 3, although it was not as impressive as the desktop version in terms of overall design and features.
Third place goes to IG for its innovative web platform, which comes packed with versatile charting, automated pattern recognition tools, and its premium ProRealTime charts. For more advanced traders, IG’s L2 Dealer desktop-based platform provides an array of advanced features for experienced forex traders who need the extra tools usually found on desktop platforms.
CMC Markets’ web-based platform followed closely in fourth place, thanks to its powerful charting and integrated tools. The broker discontinued its flagship Market Maker desktop platform for new clients in 2016, which excludes it from consideration. While there is no new replacement yet in sight, CMC Markets’ web-based platform stands on its own. Meanwhile, FXCM’s Trading Station platform helped round out the top five.
Overall, the best forex platform for you will depend on a myriad of factors. First, do you prefer a web-based environment or desktop download? Next, consider how important tools such as charting or automated trading are to you. Available order types and other unique tools and features are also items to keep in mind.
Fortunately, nearly every forex broker supports opening a demo account and testing out the experience in a simulated trading environment. Read our full-length reviews to learn more about these industry-leading brokers, compare them side by side, then open test accounts to finalize your selection.