How We Test

By Steven Hatzakis | December 14th, 2020

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

For the 2021 Review published in December 2020, a total of 2,916 data points were collected over three months, and nearly 50,000 words of research were published. 27 brokers from across the globe were assessed.

Like our sister site,, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than 1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust.

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: Windows 10 Pro, 32 GB RAM, 64-bit Operating System, Intel Core i7-9700 CPU @ 3.00 GHZ with Radeon RX 550 Video Card and 100GB of SSD Flash Storage.

Laptop: Macbook Retina 12”, 1.2 GHz Intel Core m5, Memory 8 GB LPDDR3 RAM, Intel HD 515 1536 MB Graphics card, 500 GB SSD Flash storage with the most current macOS (Mojave) operating system.

Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S9+, 6.2" 4K Super AMOLED (2960x1440) 64-bit Octa-Core Snapdragon 835 Processor 2.7GHz, 6GB RAM 6.2" with the most current (Android 10 ) operating system.

Review Categories

For the 2021 Review, all brokers were assessed on 108 different variables across eight primary areas: Commissions & Fees, Offering of Investments, Platforms & Tools, Research, Trust Score, Mobile Trading, Education, and Overall.

The weightings of each category were as follows:

Review Category Weighting
Commissions & Fees 21%
Platforms & Tools 12%
Research 17%
Trust Score 15%
Offering of Investments 17%
Mobile Trading 9%
Education 9%

Category Scoring awarded “Best in Class” distinctions for all seven categories, as well as additional categories Social Copy Trading, Professional Trading, MetaTrader, Crypto Trading, Beginners, Ease of Use, Trust Score, and Overall. A “Best in Class” designation means finishing in the top seven for that category. Individual Industry awards were also distributed.

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 are 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.

Commissions & Fees

forex broker testing

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.

Customer Service

forex broker testing

To score Customer Service, partnered with UK-based customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests of international broker offices located in the United Kingdom. In total, 330 customer service tests were conducted. View infographic.

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, the highest and lowest score was thrown out. After that, the remaining scores were combined to determine an overall score for Customer Service.

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