Is MetaTrader 5 Better Than MetaTrader 4, and Should You Upgrade?

  • Trading Systems
  • 26.04.2021 04:39 pm

One minute you’re the cock of the walk, the king of the swingers, and the talk of the town – and the next…well, you’re not.

One of the funny things about technology is that shiny new gadgets and devices are released to much fanfare, fuelling the innate need of many consumers to have the hottest new thing.

Then the next generation comes along, and the previous iteration is kicked to the kerb quicker than you can say iPhone 10.

Software upgrades act along the same principles, and for traders and investors, you can see why the natural instinct is to upgrade from MetaTrader 4 (MT4) – the ‘older’ generation of trading software – to the all-singing, all-dancing MetaTrader 5 (MT5).

Is that the right move to make though?

The cult of newness

For the most part, brokers offer their users MT4, with a select few now upgrading to MT5 to ensure that their clients have the choice of which platform to deploy. Some brokers, such as eToro trading, eschew MetaTrader altogether and develop their own proprietary systems. 

Developed by MetaQuotes Software Corp, MT4 – released in 2005 – was designed specifically for use in forex trading. MT5, published five years later, takes a multi-asset approach, and so clearly this is a key advantage for traders with a diverse portfolio of investments.

One of the other notable things about MT5 is that it has been designed with those trading the global markets in mind. Users can choose between 21 different time zones, so you can schedule your trading around the opening and closing sessions in each market if you wish. MT4, by contrast, only has nine time zones.

Technical traders may just prefer the suite of options available to them in MT5. There are 38 indicators compared to MT4’s 30, including Elliott Wave drawing tools and 44 different graphs and charts – MT4 serves up 31.

We really also have to mention depth of market. With MT5, you can explore market sentimentality by examining buying/selling activity, and this can be a very useful tool for any trading strategy you may wish to deploy.

Perhaps the key difference of all is speed. MT5 updates its predecessor’s 32-bit, mono-threaded platform to a 64-bit, multi-threaded model, and the bottom line is that you can open and close positions in quicker fashion as a result – essential for scalpers and swing traders looking to get in and out of the market efficiently. 

Stick, don’t twist

Of course, it’s worth remembering that MT4 laid the foundation for what was to follow.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is an old expression that is worth remembering in the context of the evolution of the MetaTrader platform.

There are more bells and whistles to MT5, admittedly, but the absolute vast majority of traders will find MT4 more than adequate in satisfying their requirements. 

You will also find that MT4 is more prevalent when analysing each online broker, with many firms opting to stick with the classic for the time being.

The bottom line is that you won’t go far wrong with either of the MetaTrader platforms, and we should simply rejoice in the fact that either exists!

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