At TradingForexSites.com we understand the importance of finding the right forex broker for your trading style and needs. We are committed to helping you do this, by providing accurate, current and unbiased reviews for all the forex brokers we list.
From beginner to professional, whatever your place in the trader spectrum, you should always choose a broker which is safe and secure. Rest assured we only feature fx brokers that are regulated by a trusted, top-tier authority.
There is a very large number of online forex brokers, so choosing which one is right for you can be complicated. Here, we will attempt to make this task easier by outlining what aspects and features you should be looking out for. We will break this down into the following areas:
This aspect is of vital importance as the broker is responsible for your money. Regulation by a top-tier authority guarantees that the broker will hold the highest standards regarding security, transparency and integrity.
The broker should hold your funds in segregated accounts. This means that the broker can access your account to fund your trading activity but will not be able to withdraw funds. Funds in segregated accounts are withheld from creditors in the case of bankruptcy.
If the broker operates in more than 1 jurisdiction then they should also be regulated by the relevant authorities in each geographical area. A list of top-tier regulators follows;
The trading platform is the traders’ main tool. It allows you to access the market prices, place entry and exit orders, or enter and exit a trade. The most common platform for retail traders is the MetaTrader MT4, closely followed by the newer version MT5.
Other options include cTrader and ProRealTime. All these platforms offer state-of-the-art technical tools and are open source. If you have the patience to learn or knowledge to write code, you can implement new tools or create automated trading bots.
However, many FX brokers offer their version of trading software. These platforms are built in-house and are available to traders that open an account with the broker. The broker should offer a demo account where you can test their platforms and services before funding an account.
Technical analysis is one of the main components of FX trading, whether you're day trading or swing trading. Whichever platform you are considering must have a full array of technical indicators and drawing tools.
You should also be able to trade directly from the chart, manage your stop loss and take profit, as well as manage your margin. Preferably, the platform also has a live news feed and charting features such as the one offered by TradingCentral.
A mobile app of the platform should also be available as we live in a day and age where we can manage our lives on the go. Mobility also applies to FX trading, and the apps should offer all, or the majority, of features available on the desktop or browser versions.
Commissions are a necessary cost of trading, which is how brokers generate their income, allowing them to offer you the service. Of course, we want to pay as little as possible, but we still want a quality service.
Commissions are usually earned through the bid offer spread. This spread is the difference in pips between the bid and the offer. Usually, a broker will receive the price from a bank and add a few pips. The extra pips added are the broker's fee.
Some brokers do not add extra pips to the prices they receive and instead charge a commission. The broker will reflect this cost in your account.
There are basically two business models for FX brokers, but first, let's familiarise with a few phrases related to FX trading with online brokers
NDD – Non-Dealing Desk
DMA – Direct Market Access
STP – Straight Through Processing
ECN – Electronic Communications Network
In one model brokers can quote the prices you deal on themselves, known as market-making. In the other model they receive prices and pass them on from the interbank market. When they pass the prices on, they are considered NDD. An NDD broker is not taking the other side of the trade. You trade through the broker directly with the counterparty quoting the price, also known as DMA.
When brokers quote the price themselves, they also take the other side of the trade. Bid offer spreads with market makers tend to be fixed, while an NDD broker will vary its spreads according to the prices it receives.
A market maker may also be susceptible to price manipulation, whereas an NDD broker is not aware of your positions, and simply requotes the prices it receives. NDD brokers receive their prices from various institutions through an electronic network, known as an ECN.
Thanks to computer technology these networks create a direct link between you, the broker and the market maker. The whole process from execution to confirmation of the trade is automated and this is referred to as STP.
There are two types of accounts, standard and professional. The naming may change from broker to broker, as some brokers offer extra perks for funding a professional account. The marketing drive then dictates the names each account has.
Standard accounts are limited in the amount of leverage they can trade with, and brokers are no longer allowed to pay trading bonuses to their clients. Leverage is limited by the MiFID II regulations, usually a maximum of 30:1 for some markets.
Professional accounts can access much higher leverage, depending on the broker, it can be as high as 500:1. However, with a professional account, you will not benefit from negative balance protection. You will also need a higher funding balance, and declare you meet certain requirements to open a professional account.
Customer support should include access via online chat, email and telephone. If the broker is a market maker, you should preferably have access to the dealing desk via telephone. Check which languages are available, some brokers offer a limited number of languages. Support should be available at least 24 hours 5 days a week, although some offer this service 24/7.
Of all the brokers reviewed, the best forex broker overall goes to CMC Markets. This broker has a wide selection of FX pairs and other securities you can trade on when it comes to trading CFDs. Currently they offer 11,000 different assets across forex pairs, commodities, indices, shares, crypto and bonds. This forex broker offers its services for forex trading with CFDs and spread betting.
The company started out in 1989 and has come a long way since then. The broker has offices in all the major financial centres in the world, plus China and Australia. CMC is a publicly traded company quoted on the London Stock Exchange and has won various awards for its services to clients.
Forex Trading Platforms
CMC Markets also offers a wide selection among the best forex trading platforms, which includes MetaTrader’s MT4 and a proprietary trading platform Next Generation. This in house forex trading platform has been designed with great attention to ease of use. The trading platform also has a Reuters live news feed. Very handy to stay on top of the latest headline news without the need of another app.
The trading platform is available directly through your browser, no need for downloads. It also has a wide array of technical indicators, time frames, chart formats and the capability of producing your exact layouts with charts, news feed and prices all in one place.
CMC Markets has competitive spreads for almost all the major forex pairs. The current bid offer spread for the EUR USD and USD JPY currency pairs is 0.7 pips, which is competitive compared to the average in the industry.
This broker received the award for Best In-House Analysts by Professional Trader Awards 2019. It offers a large variety of assets to forex traders and a well designed in-house forex trading platform. The company can provide online trading and offers MetaTrader platforms as well as mobile trading. In light of all the above, we consider CMC to be at the top of the best forex brokers overall.
The top spot for best premium service in forex trading goes to FxPro. This forex broker opened its doors in 2006 to start trading forex. And it has already stacked up over 85 awards. Most recently, it received the following accolades:
FxPro offers a variety of trading platforms which include the in-house trading platform FxPro Edge with a full list of trading tools. Other trading platforms include cTrader and MT4 and MT5 both as a download or as a web trading platform.
Trading forex with Fx Pro offers a full premium service with state-of-the-art trading platforms, education, in-house research and low latency pricing. The servers at Fx Pro are situated close to the banks that supply the broker with prices.
This means that the lag between sending and receiving prices and trade orders is minimum. Useful for the automated trader and manual trader alike to reduce slippage to a minimum. Low latency in the transfer of data means traders are less likely to suffer from slippage, especially when markets are moving quickly.
FxPro offers a premium service for advanced traders and novices. We feel this is one of the best forex brokers around. We came to this conclusion based on the quality of their platforms, the high standard of infrastructure which allows for 80.5% of trades to be executed at the first quote.
We also considered the high standard of their education and research material along with the fact they have one of the highest award rates in the industry. Over the last decade they have collected a plethora of awards, including 6 consecutive Best FX Provider from 2014 to 2019 from Investors Chronicles & Financial Times.
FxPro has slightly higher bid offer spreads than the industry average and that may put off some high frequency traders. However, they offer a premium service and the higher commission paid can be justified by the quality of service.
For the advanced trader our choice of best forex broker goes to Peperstone. This forex broker started operating in 2010. It has since then expanded to 300 thousand clients worldwide. The company has offices in London, Cyprus, Dusseldorf, Dubai and Kenya.
Apart from forex trading you will also be able to trade shares, commodities, indices and ETFs. The broker executes an average of $12.55 billion in trades every day in the global markets. They also have various types of accounts with different limits on deposits and leverage.
Pepperstone also offers some of the best forex Trading Platforms. They do not offer a proprietary trading platform. However, they have chosen to work with 3 of the best retail trading platforms in the industry. All 3 platforms are offered as online trading apps through a browser or as downloadable software.
All three platforms have state-of-the art technical analysis with a multitude of indicators and tools across several time frames and chart types. In addition, Pepperstone also offers Autochartist, which is an add-on app for MT4 and MT5. The app allows you to set up alerts for technical indicators and to back test their effectiveness based on your criteria.
Pepperstone offers a comprehensive service for seasoned traders and novices alike. We particularly like the choice of three top-tier platforms all available for online trading also. They each have their corresponding mobile versions, although with more limited features.
The broker also offers different types of trading accounts to cater to traders requiring higher leverage levels. They also have a complete library of educational materials and in house research.
The research focuses mainly on macro factors and technical analysis. And can count on the external contribution of the likes of Boris Schlossberg who appears on outlets such as Reuters or CNBC.
IG gets top marks for tightest bid offer spreads in forex trading, although they could also appear at the top of other lists also. IG is among the best forex brokers in many aspects. They have the tightest bid offer spreads, they started the spread betting industry back in 1974, they have offices in 17 countries worldwide, a wide selection of top-tier trading platforms, and is a highly regulated broker.
IG bid offer spreads are the lowest in the industry with EUR USD and AUD USD both at 0.6 pips. Other major forex pairs that stand out are USD JPY 0.7 pips, and EUR GBP and GBP USD at 0.9 pips. These are the tightest spreads we have found in the market for these major forex pairs.
Other forex pairs are still very competitive, with only USD CHF being above the industry average at 1.5 pips. Other brokers can match some of IG’s bid offer spreads, but we didn’t find any that matched them all.
IG also has a host of top-tier trading platforms that have a large variety of technical tools, time frames and chart types. They also have a proprietary online trading platform accessible through your browser.
For those looking for professional standard sophistication from their trading platforms they also offer ProRealTime. However, this software comes at a cost of $30 dollars a month unless you are trading actively and with a large enough trade size.
All platforms on offer also have their mobile equivalent with access to live prices, charts, technical analysis and risk management while you are on the go.
Research & Education
IG also does a very good job when it comes to educating traders. They organise webinars for beginners, intermediate, and advanced traders. Topics cover a wide range of subjects from an Introduction to the Financial Markets to Understanding Risk & Reward.
In research they have a good offering between live news feeds to live TV. The live news feed appears directly on their platform from the likes of Reuters and Bloomberg. They also have live TV shows covering the latest headline news and economic data events.
This broker takes top spot for the lowest bid offer spreads; however, it has a lot to offer besides the tightest spreads in the market. We see they have an excellent choice of state-of-the-art trading platforms, choice of assets, and good news coverage and research.
Not many forex brokers are involved in copy trading. However, the service is becoming more popular as traders and investors look to hand over the tough job of trading to other traders. Some copy traders still trade their own accounts but having some of their capital in the hands of other traders can reduce risk through diversification.
So, the top spot for forex brokers in copy trading goes to eToro. This broker was set up with copy trading in mind in 2007. It has now grown to cover CFDs in shares as well as forex trading. The broker has a shorter than average list of 47 currency pairs. However, that should not be of too much concern as your main objective will be copying other traders.
eToro has its own in-house trading platform specifically designed for copy traders. There is no choice of other trading platforms as the features offered for copy trading would not be available on a third-party product.
Their proprietary trading platform is functional and easy to use with 67 technical indicators and 13 drawing tools. That may be enough for some traders also trading their own account but may be oversimplified for more sophisticated traders.
eToro offers an appealing solution to traders looking to copy trade and for traders looking to make some extra income while sharing their trade ideas. Their trading platform works well for that purpose, although it may be somewhat limited for very active traders.
They also lack live news feeds on the platform or research and market sentiment analysis. And they don’t have full customer support over the phone and via email. While their mobile app is a very watered-down version of the desk-top version.
Finally, the bid offer spreads are slightly wider than the industry average but then again, the broker can justify that for the service it offers. However, if you are looking to copy trade the app allows you to manage a portfolio of traders effectively. The broker was set up for the purpose of copy trading and that is where it gets top marks.
Capital.com is a newcomer to the world of forex trading. This online broker opened its doors in 2016. However, it has already reached over 270,000 clients worldwide. This forex broker has offices in London, Cyprus and Australia.
The company gets top spot for best mobile and web platform thanks to the broker’s trading platform. The broker has managed to create web and mobile platforms that are sophisticated and yet straightforward to use at the same time.
And above all there is no penalty when you go from web browser to mobile device. As you will get all the functions available on your PC browser on your smartphone too. In fact, their proprietary platform has over 75 technical indicators and various chart types.
Trading Platform Choice
Another factor that put Capital.com into the top spot for this category of best forex brokers is their choice of trading platforms. Together with the broker’s proprietary platform they also offer the MT4 platform and TradingView.
The MT4 platform from MetaTrader is the well-known retail industry standard for traders. It has a whole host of technical indicators, drawing tools, time frames and chart types. And most importantly for many traders, you can personalise the app or even automate your trading with the appropriate line of code.
Quite frankly that system may be getting outdated as new technologies arrive. But Capital.com also offers TradingView, which is a web based only platform. But don’t be fooled, it has over 100 technical indicators, an extensive array of drawing tools, and a wider set of chart types than the majority of the best forex trading platforms.
Then, they also have the possibility to use code, in this case Python, to write your own scripts for technical indicators. You can also get to back test the performance of technical indicators with their built in Strategy Tester.
If that wasn’t enough you can also paper trade to test your trading strategies, and there are many technical indicators developed by the community that you can use on your chart layout for free.
Capital.com took the top spot in this category because we feel they offer a wide selection of platforms. And all the platforms offered are of the highest quality. Their in-house mobile platform was awarded Best Mobile App in the UK by Investment Trends in 2021.
The broker also has competitive bid offer spreads and live trader support 7 days a week, instead of the usual 5. They also offer plenty of educational material and research content. Overall, a good choice for novices and veterans alike.
The best low-cost option in forex trading goes to SpreadEX. This broker launched its activities back in 1999 and became an online forex broker in 2006. The company was awarded Best Financial Spread Betting Provider in 2020, by the City of London Wealth Management Awards for the best forex brokers.
This forex broker has some of the tightest bid offer spreads available in the industry. They offer a wide range of currency pairs, and other markets in shares, indices, futures and options. Forex traders will receive a very diverse offering, as they also have markets for ETFs, bonds, rates, and crypto.
SpreadEX only offers one great proprietary trading platform, which leaves it out the list of best forex brokers for platform choice. But still gets the broker into top spot for the low-cost option. That’s because their app has a full suite of technical indicators, chart types and trading tools.
Price history goes back ten years, you can create and save templates, and trade directly from the chart. One downside for some traders is that there is no feature for automated trading. And another downside to their app is that there is no free demo account to test out their services.
This is among the best forex brokers that hits the top 3 in many categories, we gave it the top low-cost spot, but it’s a viable option for forex and CFD traders across the board. They have a wide selection of currency pairs and a large selection of financial markets if you are into trading CFDs.
They are a well-established forex broker with a top-tier web based and mobile app that has a full array of advanced trading tools and technical indicators. They were also awarded Best for Efficiency of Taking Trades in the Investment Trends UK Leveraged Trading Awards.
Overall, this forex broker has a lot to offer when it comes to currency trading. Among the wide offering of best forex brokers, they have an award-winning service and decades of experience trading forex. Forex traders looking for automated trading will have to look elsewhere.
For the best selection of currency pairs among the best forex brokers, the top spot goes to XTB. This broker started forex trading in 2002 in Poland as X-Trade. In 2009 it changed name to XTB and went public on the Warsaw Stock exchange.
XTB is one the forex brokers with a wide selection of exotic currency pairs for trading CFDs. If you are trading foreign exchange and want to look at alternative currency pairs this may be a practical option. Even the best forex brokers often lack alternative exotic forex pairs. So, if you want forex trading profits from a different source to the standard on offer you may want to look closer.
FX Currency Pairs
Some of the forex pairs that stand out as exotic alternatives are CHF PLN, CHF HUF, AUD JPY, GBP PLN, GBP MXN and many more. The standard in foreign exchange trading is to quote the USD against everything else. (FX pairs that do not involve the USD are called crosses.)
Of which, the EUR USD is the most widely traded currency pair, followed way behind by USD JPY and GBP USD. So, when you want to trade two currencies that do not include the USD, you may have to trade two pairs. One pair where you buy the USD and another where you sell the USD.
In this way you eliminate your exposure to the USD and are left with the performance of the two non-USD currencies. While XTB has put together, in our opinion, the best selection of FX pairs thanks to their choice of crosses. Allowing you to trade one currency pair at a time.
This forex broker offers a great selection of alternative exotic currency pairs that will allow you to take advantage of trading ideas that otherwise would not be so easy to set up. They do not have such a wide selection of asset classes as some of the other top forex brokers. However, they have a wide enough selection of the main macro markets and some of the main stocks.
Among the best forex brokers, best in class for MT4 forex trading goes to FXTM. FXTM does not offer any other platform for desktop trading. However, it has market-leading education, quality research and excellent customer support.
This online broker started operating in 2011 and has grown to cater over 2 million registered users globally. This forex broker has slightly higher than average bid offer spreads, but we believe they may be justifiable in view of the services offered for MT4 only traders.
The MT4 trading platform is available as downloadable software or as a web-based platform through your browser. The advantages of MT4 are well-known and include a variety of technical indicators, drawing tools, and the possibility of customising the app or automating part or all your trading.
Along with the mobile version of MT4 you can also take advantage of FXTM’s mobile trading app, FXTM Trader. The app is available in both iOS and Android through the respective stores. Their mobile app allows you to “Trade the markets in the palm of your hand”.
You will be able to trade across multiple devices, i.e., open a position on your desktop and close it through the mobile app. It includes state of the art charting tools, one click trading, and position and risk management.
This broker offers first class customer support with thousands of markets to trade on. Customer support is one of their big strengths, with 24/7 support, via online chat and telephone. They are an established and trustworthy broker in the forex industry. They also offer accounts for retail and professional traders for forex traders.
Retail accounts are restricted in the UK by FSA regulation to 1:30 leverage while professional accounts get up to 1:300 leverage. Professional accounts also get tighter bid offer spreads. For example, the EUR USD spread is 0.6 pips for professional accounts compared to 1.5 for retail accounts. They can also supply prices in a wide selection of forex pairs.
Among the best forex trading brokers, the best for research and education goes to AvaTrade. This broker started operations in 2006 and caters to over 300 thousand traders globally. They also offer a wide selection of assets including ETFs, Bonds, Stocks, Crypto and options.
Recently they were awarded Best Broker from the World Economic Magazine, and Top 10 Brands of 2021 from The CEO Views. The company also offers options trading on its special purpose proprietary trading platform and professional accounts.
The broker also offers a highly advanced proprietary trading platform for your desktop and smartphone. Along with their trading app they also offer a standalone app specifically for options trading. If you are interested in options trading but don’t have a clue, not to worry AvaTrade has you covered.
Research & Education
From their education tab you will find an extensive library of materials under various sub-sections. They also have 60 videos that explain everything from platform tutorials to technical analysis. Among the sections they also have one for beginners and one for technical trading strategies.
Their material covers everything a beginner needs to know and continues their education into more sophisticated aspects of forex trading.
Their research is also top tier, with help of outside contribution from Trading Central. Trading Central is a state-of-the-art market insights and intelligence supplier. The research is available on the AvaTrade web-based trading platform, mobile app and the options trading platform.
This broker has a lot of quality material in education especially oriented towards beginners and intermediate traders. Their research is also of high quality thanks to their external supplier. They have a multitude of asset classes and they also offer options trading on a dedicated platform.
On a side note, notice that they also offer copy trading if you want to divert some of your funds to other profitable traders. AvaTrade was not set up with copy trading in mind, but they have joined forces with some copy trading platforms such as ZuluTrade, Duplitrade and set up their proprietary platform Avasocial.
A forex broker gives professional and retail traders access to the multi-trillion-dollar forex market. A broker allows you to place trades in the forex markets, to buy and sell the FX pairs offered by the platform. Brokers have several connections with financial institutions, such as banks, that supply them with forex prices. The broker then passes on these prices to its clients, plus a fee.
Brokers may offer trading in the physical forex market, or undeliverable contracts for forex pairs, known as CFDs (Contract for Difference). A broker should be regulated by a top-tier authority that will guarantee the correct handling of your funds and proper trading practices.
Yes, you do. Once you have chosen the broker you want to trade with you will need to open an account. You will then need to send funds to the account, the cash you send will be used as collateral (margin) to guarantee your trading activities.
Basically, there are two types of brokers, non-dealing desk (NDD) and market makers. NND brokers supply traders with the market price from the financial institutions they are affiliated with. In this case, the broker acts purely as an intermediary. In the case of market makers, the broker quotes the price and takes the opposite side of the trade.
Forex trading costs consist of 3 aspects, bid offer spread, commissions and swap fees. The bid offer spread is the difference between the price you can buy an FX pair and the price you can sell the same pair. Commissions are extra fees some brokers add to the price you trade at.
Swap fees are generated when you leave your positions open overnight. Positions that extend one trading day create financing costs. They are also referred to as carrying costs, depending on the currency pair and on which currency you are long of, financing the position may generate a net cost (debit) for you or a net income (credit).
Our choice for the best broker for professional traders goes to IG. This broker not only is the oldest spread betting platform out there but also offers top-tier services across the board. They have extremely competitive bid offer spreads greatly reducing your trading costs. Multiple state-of-the-art platforms, extensive research including videos and a plethora of markets to choose from.
There is no universal answer to the question, as it is a very subjective matter. Many brokers offer in-house proprietary platforms, you can usually test these services with a demo account. Possibly the best-known platforms are the MT4 and MT5 from MetaTrader. There are also some other platforms such as ProRealTime, which do come at a cost but offer extra features not available on all platforms.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal choice. Our advice is to open a demo account with the target brokers and try the platforms they have available. MT4 and MT5 are available for testing in a demo account with any broker. Platforms like ProRealTime are also usually available for testing, although you may have a specific time limit.