How We Test

By Brandon Reinkensmeyer | February 19th, 2018

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Our mission at is to provide thorough and unbiased reviews of global forex brokers.

For the 2018 Review published in April 2018, a total of 6,020 data points were collected over seven months, and over 83,000 words of research were published. 43 brokers from across the globe were assessed.

We also take pride in the fact that no other forex review, print or web, goes deeper than All data collected is gathered independently or from the industry directly, instead of from a third-party, to ensure its accuracy.

Like our sister site,, this rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than 1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. As a symbol of our focus on quality data, we display the same Verified Quality Data seal as, which debuted the seal in 2016.

Testing Devices

All testing is conducted on the devices listed below. Mobile device testing is conducted using an 802.11n wireless WiFi connection; 4G connections are used when WiFi is not available. Unless noted, all websites and web-based platforms are tested using the latest version of the Google Chrome browser.

Desktop: Macbook Pro Retina 15”, 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7, Memory 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB Graphics card, 250 GB SSD Flash storage with the most current macOS operating system.

Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S9+, 6.2" Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (2960x1440) 529 ppi 10nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor 2.8GHz + 1.7GHz, 6GB RAM 6.2" Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (2960x1440) 529 ppi, with the most current Android version.

Review Categories

For the 2018 Review, all brokers were assessed on 140 different variables across seven primary areas: Commissions & Fees, Offering of Investments, Platforms & Tools, Research, Customer Service, Mobile Trading, and Education.

The weightings of each category, alongside their respective variable counts, were as follows:

Review Category Weighting
Commissions & Fees 20%
Offering of Investments 20%
Platforms & Tools 20%
Research 15%
Customer Service 8%
Mobile Trading 10%
Education 7%

Category Scoring awarded “Best in Class” distinctions for all seven categories, as well as additional categories such as Social Copy Trading, MetaTrader, Crypto, and Overall. A “Best in Class” designation means finishing in the top seven for that category. Individual Industry awards were also distributed. View all Best in Class winners.

FX in content

An explanation of how the categories are assessed is shown below. For detailed commentary, view our broker guides.

Yes/No with Opinion

First, points are awarded for each “Yes” answer. The number of points awarded depends on the variable. Next, the total points earned from “Yes” answers is then divided by the total points possible to calculate a final Yes/No score.

To determine a final score for the category, this Yes/No score is then combined with an opinion score (1 – 10, with one being “very bad” and ten being “very good”). The weighting of the Yes/No score compared to the opinion score varies for each category. For example, 70% Yes/No, 30% Opinion.

Categories assessed in this manner include Offering of Investments, Platforms & Tools, Research, Mobile Trading, and Education.


Both Commissions & Fees and Customer Service apply separate scoring rubrics due to their complexity.

To score Commissions & Fees, first, multiple scenarios are assessed for placing trades. For example, the average reported and/or observed spread for the EUR/USD pair. Brokers are awarded points depending on how inexpensive they are relative to their peers.

Next, multiple scenarios are assessed for different investor types on a monthly basis, incorporating any miscellaneous account fees, alongside any active trader or VIP rates. The goal is to determine a net, "all-in" cost per trade.

Finally, all data is analyzed to determine an overall score for Commissions & Fees.

To score Customer Service, conducted phone call tests from North America and Europe to international broker offices across the globe. In total, 120 customer service tests were conducted.

Our staff used separate unique templates (on average, three questions are asked) to assess each broker.

To score each test, the tests were divided into three separate groups and scores were given for the time taken to connect with each support representative and the ability of each representative to professionally (and thoroughly) answer each question. A Net Promoter Score was also given for the overall experience. Response times are 15% of each test score, representative assessments are 35%, and Net Promoter Scores make up the remaining 50%.

Once all individual test scores were compiled, they were combined to determine an overall score for Customer Service.

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