Forex Trading Platforms

A Complete Guide to the cTrader Trading Platform

cTrader is one of the biggest competitions to the dominating MetaTrader series of trading platforms, back in 2018 they won the online trading platform of the year award. Created by Spotware Systems Ltd and released back in 2010. It is packed full of features and customisation options. Ctrader has started to be picked up by more brokers that are looking for alternatives to the MetaTrader platforms which in turn gives a bit more choice for traders and customers.

So we are going to have a look through exactly what cTrader has to offer and what we can actually do with it.

When we first load up the platform, we are presented with quite a busy-looking screen, right in the centre of the screen are the charts, sitting just below is the position, order, and history tabs. To the right, there is a selection of panels including orders, calendars, and various information about the symbol currently on the chart. To the left of the platform is the list of symbols available to trade. It is a very busy screen and a lot of information is being presented which can be a little overwhelming, but let’s have a look and break down each individual section.


The trade tab is where you will be spending most of your time and allows you to actually make your trades and orders, it is made up of a number of different sections which we have outlined below.


Initially, the charts can look a little confusing, at the top of the chart window are some tabs with any of the currently open charts and the assets within them. To the left is a number of different options. The top two are the zoom-in and out buttons. Below that is the option for the sort of chart that you want, the current options are Bar, Candlestick, Line and Dot charts. Below this is the option for your indicators, there are a lot of built-in indicators that you can add to the chart. Then there are options for cBots which is the equivalent of an expert advisor for the MetaTrader series. You are able to add drawings to the charts and the ability to hide or show them. Finally, there is a selection of timeframes, there are a lot of them ranging from 1 minute to months, you can set seven primary ones as buttons, the rest can be selected on the tab at the top of the charts.


To the right of the platform, there is an order box, this is where we will be able to place new trades and pending orders. You are able to make market executions, limit orders, stop orders, and stop-limit orders. When making a market execution trade, you can simply put in the desired size that you want, then select the stop loss and take profit levels. The nice thing about cTrader is that you can select the stop loss and take profits based on pips, estimate price, balance, and profit rather than just price, you can also select to have a trailing stop which will follow the price up and down to allow a bit of wiggle room. When making an order it is exactly the same except that you will need to input the desired price for the order rather than just hitting buy or sell. 

Position Monitor

Once a trade or order has been placed, it will move down into the positions monitor at the bottom of the middle of the platform, there is also a tab for the current pending orders. This window will show you all the trades that you currently have open, it displays a lot of information about them and it can be ordered by using any of the titles within it. The panel also shows the current balance, equity, margin used, free margin, margin level, and various other statistics. 

There is an additional tab for the account history which shows past trades and orders that have already been closed or canceled, there is a price alert tab for any alerts that you may have setup. The transaction tab looks at deposits and withdrawals. The final two tabs are regarding the journal and cBot log which details different actions that have been taken, either by you manually or automatically by a cBot.


To the left of the platform is a panel that is currently displaying all of the available symbols or your chosen ones should you wish to limit them. It gives you the bid and ask prices of the ones displayed in a quick and easy access view. You can double-click on any of the assets in order to open up the chart in the middle of the platform. If you right-click you are able to add something to your watchlist, create a new order, or open up the chart.


The calendar can be found on the right of the platform, there is a  tab at the top for the extended calendar, otherwise, there is a  smaller version if you scroll down the right toolbar section. This gives you an overview of upcoming news events and can give you an indication of what kings of effect the events may have on the markets. This is useful if you are trading pairs with major news events coming up.


The automate button which is initially found at the bottom left of the platform allows you to create an automated script of cBot, this is the same as an Expert Advisor when using MetaTrader 4 or 5. You can use a number of different prebuilt bots or you are able to create one yourself as long as you know a little bit about coding.


The copy tab allows you to launch cTrader Copy, this is a system that allows you to view and then copy other traders, it is similar to the signals section within MT4 and MT5. You can look at the past performances, look at what sorts of risks that you are taking and if you like the look of it, you are able to copy their trades into your own account. If you feel that you have a great strategy, then you can actually apply to have your trades added to the system for people to copy, getting a cut of any commissions for each trade taken.


The analysis tab allows you to take a detailed look at the history of your account, it will detail all the different trades and orders that were placed so you can take a look and analyse their performance. It is a great way to work out what is working and what is not, plenty of information is available so it is well worth using.


The last major section for us to look at is the settings, this is where you are able to alter a few different things about the platform. The General tab allows you to change some colour themes and various other basic interface options. There are also startup options, asset options around lots or units, market watch, notifications, automation options, email, and proxy options. Nothing that will drastically change anything, but some can be useful depending on your preferences.

Anything else?

The only other thing to note is the market hours section which tells you which markets are currently open and when they will open or close, this can be handy for avoiding larger spreads or jumps in volatility. There is also a symbol info panel, detailing a lot of information about the currently selected symbol such as assets involved, commissions, swings, and more.


There are a lot of fantastic features with cTrader, things like the choice of pips or monetary value for stop losses and take profits, plenty of information about each asset, and many more, the main issue is the overcrowded user interface, however, you should now have a slightly better understanding of what each section does and what is actually available within the cTrader platform.

Forex Trading Platforms

E*TRADE Trading Platform Review

01E*TRADE has earned a spot on just about every top 5 broker list you can find. The company’s simplistic website is upfront and transparent, outlining their various account types, investment choices, and pricing, along with some sections that were created for new investors. The website’s transparency is a good sign that traders won’t have to worry about hidden fees or shady policies later down the road, which makes the company worth considering. However, we found ourselves curious about the trading platforms offered by the company, as they have created their very own instead of going with more well-known options like MetaTrader 4 or 5. Do E*TRADE’s platform options stand beside their competition? Keep reading to find out.

E*Trade offers a few different platform choices: the standard E*Trade platform, Power E*Trade, and two mobile platforms that are modeled after both versions.

E*Trade Platform

The original E*Trade platform allows traders to trade stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, and bonds by submitting a “user-friendly” order ticket. Professionally managed accounts are also offered through this platform for those that would prefer a more hands-off experience. Here’s what else you can expect to find within this trading platform:

  • Extra tools like streaming quotes, built-in charts, news updates, daily market commentary, free independent research, and more.
  • Insight into the market through screeners that consider the criteria you care about
  • Optimizers, backtesters, analyzers, and the aforementioned screeners
  • Convenient options that allow you to access your cash through the platform
  • Educational resources, including monthly webinars and live events

After checking out all the details, it seems clear that the original E*Trade platform was designed to be navigable by beginners, while providing built-in resources that help with planning, give insight into the market, and convenience. Educational resources are there for beginners, while more experienced traders will be happy with the backtesters, optimizers, analyzers, and other special options. Everyone should be able to benefit from the platform’s screeners and other tools that help with making investment choices. 

E*Trade Power Platform

While the original E*Trade platform seems to focus on several things, the concept behind E*Trade Power is focused more on one goal. The platform aims to simplify the complexity of trading while offering several different benefits to traders with a focus on charting. Here are some of the things available within the platform:

  • Interactive charts with 30+ drawing tools and 100+ technical studies
  • The ability to add technical patterns to charts automatically with an explanation of what they mean
  • Snapshot analysis provides risk/reward probabilities at a glance
  • Spectral analysis provides risk/reward potential and explores “what if” scenarios
  • Live action can scan for abnormalities in the market, like unusual volatility
  • Paper Trading allows one to practice without risking real money

This platform seems to focus more on charting and providing traders with the ability to look at risks and rewards for certain scenarios. Although some of these features are more complex, E*Trade attempts to make this platform navigable and less confusing with a simplistic design. Don’t forget that a mobile version is also available if you prefer to trade on the go. 

The Bottom Line

If you’re planning on opening an account through E*Trade, you’ll have two solid platforms to choose from, along with mobile versions. While the original E*Trade platform and E*Trade Power platforms both offer several unique benefits and allow traders to trade different types of assets, features differ, meaning that traders will need to consider those differences to find the best option. The original platform provides some educational options with a special interest into market insight, allows traders to screen criteria they’re looking for, provides a backtesters, analyzers, and screeners, and comes with extra built-in tools that focus on market analysis and convenience. The E*Trade Power Platform is the superior option for those that find themselves doing a lot of charting, with 30+ drawing tools, technical patterns, and other chart supporting options. The platform also offers snapshot and spectral analysis for risk-reward considerations on trades. Both options offer unique benefits and fit in with the needs of different types of traders, one only needs to decide which platform is the best option for their own needs. 

Forex Trading Platforms

What is MetaTrader 5?

MetaTrader 5, also known as MT5 for short, was developed and released by MetaQuotes Software in 2010, it was designed as an upgrade to its younger brother MetaTrader 4. The software is now licensed out to a large number of foreign exchange brokers who then, in turn, provide the software to their clients. The client that the user uses is a windows-based application that initially gained popularity due to its ability to allow users to create and write their own trading scripts and robots in order to automatically trade for them. MetaTrader 5 comes in various forms such as a desktop download, mobile application, or mobile application. MT5 has been designed as a platform that covers both centralised and non-centralised financial markets, including, stocks, futures, and FX trading instruments

How to download MetaTrader 5

The MetaTrader 5 website offers the base and generic versions of MetaTrader 5 ready to download, this version is great to download if you are looking to try out the software as it does not require any broker accounts, it is also a way to look into developing EAs or indicators without needing a brokerage account.

Many forex brokers have prevented their trading accounts from being accessed from the basic version of MetaTrader 5, they have subsequently created their own branded versions of the platform, as an example, if you are using Pepperstone, you will need to use the Pepperstone MetaTrader 5 trading platform, if you are using FXTM, then you will need to use the one branded by FXTM. These platforms are exclusive to the broker offering it, so you won’t be able to use a Pepperstone account on the FXTM branded MetaTrader 5 client and vice versa. Whichever broker that you are using, there will be an option to download their platform, most likely from within the client area, but some brokers also offer it directly from the homepage or trading platform pages.

How to install MetaTrader 5 on Windows

MetaTrader 5 was designed as a windows based application which makes it fairly straightforward to install onto a Microsoft Windows-based operating system, firstly, you will need to download the installation file as outlined in the section above, once this has been done we are ready to install the platform.

Simply run the .exe file and the installation wizard should start. The wizard is self-explanatory, so simply follow the steps that it presents, select the installation location, any additional software that is offered (some brokers add in further options with their installation files). Once the installation is done, just double click the shortcut on your desktop or run the terminal.exe file and the MetaTrader 5 platform should open up.

How to install MetaTrader 5 on a Mac

It can be a little complicated to install MetaTrader 5 onto a Mac computer, the complexity needed will depend on the broker that you are using as some offer additional software while others do not.

Hopefully, your broker will be one of the ones that offer a direct Mac compatible download, if this is the case then it is as simple as downloading the application and running through the installation process, just like with a windows installation. If however it does not, it can be a little more complicated to get installed.

In order to get it installed correctly, you will need to download some additional software that will let you install it and run windows programs. Initially you will need to download and install a program called “Wine”, this is a free bit of software that allows Unix-based systems to run applications that were developed for Windows systems, there is a version specifically for the Mac OS. Once downloaded, you will then also need to download a program called “PlayOnMac”, download the software, and then run through the installation, following the prompts and downloading any necessary additional software (through the installation process).

Once everything has been installed, make sure that the latest version of Wine is installed, this can be updated through its menu system. You can then download the MetaTrader 5 Windows installation file, running this file will automatically open it with PlayOnMac, follow the onscreen prompts, and once finished, you should be able to launch MetaTrader 5 from within the PlayOnMac interface, or from a created a shortcut on the Mac desktop.

How to install MetaTrader 5 on a Linux system

If you are running a Linus based system, then you will have a few additional hoops to jump through before you can start using MetaTrader 5, just like we did on the Mac OS installations. This little guide will be based on the popular Ubuntu version of the Linus operating systems.

We will start out the same way as with the Mac installation, you will first need to download an application called “Wine”, this application makes it possible to run Windows applications on a Unix-based operating system. Wine is already included within the Ubuntu system, so in order to get it installed you will need to execute a single command line within the terminal, this command line is:

sudo apt-get install wine-stable

If your Ubuntu version did not have the repository available, then you can obtain it by running the following commands one by one:

wget -nc
sudo apt-key add Release.key
sudo apt-add-repository

You will then need to update the software with the following command:

sudo apt-get update

Then finally you will need to install it:

sudo apt-get install –install-recommends winehq-stable

Once this has been completed, you can download the MetaTrader 5 windows installation file, be sure to choose to open it using Wine, the MT5 installation wizard will then start up and you can just follow the prompts available to install to your preferred location and any other settings that may be available. Once it has been installed, simply run the terminal.exe file, Wine will automatically load up the windows based program and you should be good to go.

How to install multiple MetaTrader 5 platforms

If you have accounts with different brokers then this is nice and straight forward, you can simply install the MetaTrader 5 client from each respective broker, as long as they have their own branded version they will both install without any issues.

If you, however, have multiple accounts with the same broker that you wish to trade at the same time, it can be a little trickier. You can install the first platform following the normal routine, simply follow the onscreen instructions. When you want to install the second platform when the option to change the location of the installation is available, you must use this to install the platform onto a separate folder to the original one, this can simply have a number at the end or name it whatever you like. Once this has completed, you should be able to open up the two platforms separately without any issues.

How to download the MetaTrader 5 Mobile App

The mobile app that is available for MetaTrader 5 is a universal application, unlike the desktop version, it does not matter which broker you are using, you will be able to access your account from the standard application. In order to download it, you will need to load up the app store that is relevant to your device. It is available on both the Android Play Store and the iOS Apple Store.

Simply put in a search for MetaTrader 5 and it should pop up. Click to download and you will be all set to input your broker, server, username, and password

How to use the MetaTrader 5 WebTrader

The WebTrade is a feature that comes with many brokers that allows you to trade using your MetaTrader 5 account without having to download and install any software or applications. All that you will need is a compatible web browser (any modern browser will work) and your account number and password. If your broker supports it, there should be a link to their version of the WebTrader somewhere on the site.