MetaTrader 4 from MetaQuotes was released way back in 2005 has become a favorite among many traders and is still offered by a huge selection of Foreign exchange brokerages. However back in 2010, MetaQuotes the company behind the ever popular MT4 platform launched its successor MetaTrader 5. The number of brokerages offering MT5 is still pretty limited and the uptake has been particularly slow, which has surely disappointed MetaQuotes who must have had high hopes for the trading platform. Today we are going to take a look at the important differences between the two platforms.
User Interface and Charting
Much work has been done to make the newer platform easier to navigate, with MetaTrader 5 having larger and more spaced out buttons. This however means that the charting area on the new platform is slightly smaller than on the older MetaTrader 4. There has also been grumbles regarding the Fibonacci retracement tools failing to work as precisely as one would like.
Charting on the new platform has remained largely unchanged with the exception of one particularly useful addition. Those familiar with MT4 will know that the platform offered charts in the standard M1, M5, M15, M30, H1, H4, D1, W1, MN time frames. MetaTrader 5 improves on this by introducing intermediate time frames, allowing traders to use a wider range of time frames when trading.
Work has been done to make managing multiple accounts easier, the new improved Account Navigator window allows traders to switch between accounts easily. Allowing traders to use different trading strategies in different accounts, with practically no great difficultly. This is something that may appeal to more advanced traders.
One major downside in the eyes of many, is that the newer MetaTrader 5 doesn’t support hedging and multi-hedging. The ability to hedge is something many traders look for when deciding which trading platform to operate with. Many people have suggested getting around this problem by using plugins, in order to support hedging in the new MetaTrader 5 platform. While this might provide a solution to the problem, many would prefer not to have to use such workarounds.
While MetaTrader 4 featured an impressive range of indicators and allowed for the creation of custom indicators, MT5 does one better by introducing a number of new trend indicators. Among the new trend indicators featured on the newer platform are the; Variable Index Dynamic Average, the Fractal Adaptive Moving Average, the Adaptive Moving Average, as well as the Double and Triple Exponential Moving Average’s. These new advanced indicators give traders an opportunity to try out a wider range of trading strategies. It should also be noted that MetaTrader 5 has re-organised how Expert Advisors are categorized in order to make it easier for traders find the indicators you want to use.
One reason for the slow take up of the MetaTrader 5 platform may be due to the fact that Expert Advisors (EA’s) developed in M4QL, the programming language of MetaTrader 4 are not compatible with the newer platform. This means that the huge catalog of Expert Advisors and custom indicators supported by MT4, cannot be used with the newer MetaTrader 5 platform. It is possible to re-code Expert Advisors in order to make them compatible with MetaTrader 5, however currently their is no way to automatically do this. This means those who want to use their MT4 EA’s on the newer MT5 platform will have manually re-code the EA’s into M5QL. With automatic trading being one the major selling points of the MetaTrader platform, it may be a while before MetaTrader 5 is able to catch up with the range of Expert Advisors and Custom indicators available for the older MT4 platform.
One notable difference between the two platforms is the computing resources they use. The older MetaTrader 4 is considerably less demanding when it comes to RAM usage, with the newer MetaTrader 5 using around 3 times more RAM memory. While this won’t really effect anyone using computers released in the past couple of years, those using older computers may slightly struggle when using the newer MetaTrader 5.
While MetaTrader 5 offers several improvements over the older MetaTrader 4 platform, there are a number of things which may put traders off from making the switch to the newer platform. The issues with compatibility means that their is a smaller range of Expert Advisors available for the newer platform. As automatic trading is one of the major draws of the MetaTrader software, many are still going to favor the older MT4 platform. The only other major drawback of the newer platform is the inability to hedge without plugins, though it is possible to find workarounds for this particular problem. If neither of these issues put you off, I would strongly suggest that you try out the newer MetaTrader 5 platform.
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