In forex trading you need a forex broker to facilitate your buying and selling currency orders. When trading currencies you will have to install and use trading platforms and software provided by the broker you choose. Different brokers will provide different trading platforms and software, so it is good to know the basics and what to expect. Forex trading platforms and software are programmed by professional programmers, who also tend to be experienced forex traders. These programs provide a gateway between you and the currency market.
Trading platforms typically stream live market prices on which users can trade and may provide additional trading tools, such as charting packages, news feeds and account management functions. Some platforms have been specifically designed to allow individuals to gain access to financial markets that could formerly only be accessed by specialist trading firms such as those allowing margin trading on forex and derivatives such as contract for difference. They may also be designed to automatically trade specific strategies based on technical analysis or to do high-frequency trading.
Trading platform software can be locally based, meaning it is installed on the trader's computer and can be used with Windows, Mac and Linux systems - different brokers offer different options in this respect. Alternatively, some brokers offer software that is web based. These platforms often run using Java, a dynamic web language. The advantage of web-based trading platforms is that they can be used by almost any computer with internet access. Trading platforms are often available free-of-charge, but some brokers allow traders to purchase platforms that have a higher functionality for a fee.
There are many currency trading platforms in the marketplace, but some things to look for include fee structure, functionality, product quality and included products such as charts etc. Most forex brokers allow you to open a demo account prior to funding a full account or mini account. Be sure to try out each broker's software during their trial periods to help you better decide which forex trading platform is the best for you. Overall, operating through an efficient and easy to use trading platform with a good forex broker will often translate into increased profitability in your trading.
Basically, the current widespread availability of forex trading platforms from online forex brokers and independent software developers has allowed just about anyone with a computer and an internet connection the chance to trade forex. Since the trading platform you choose can significantly affect your profitability as a trader, you will want to select one that has all of the features you need or anticipate needing in the future, at an affordable price. Be sure to test any platform thoroughly to make sure that it fulfills your particular trading needs in a reliable way.