What all do you need to know about forex? Is it just info about currencies? What about technical analysis – can you just get by if you know how to read charts and indicators?
All of that is good to know, but you also should know about something most beginner traders don’t fully understand: forex hosting.
Forex hosting basically refers to trading through a remotely-hosted server that is in constant operation. This is so you can take advantage of certain automated trading programs and platforms out there. You may have heard terms like ‘forex VPS hosting’ or ‘MT4 hosting’; those terms and others like them are what we will talk about here.
What is Forex Hosting?
As mentioned, it is a way to remotely access trading via what is called a virtual private server, or VPS. A VPS is a physical server that has been partitioned into many smaller virtual servers. Each virtual server acts as a private server for a trader (hence the name).
Traders can then use these private servers to host trading platforms to take advantage of 24/7 access – instead of traditional trading platforms and their relatively-limited access. Another advantage is high speed; generally, trading platforms on VPS trade faster than normal platforms.
Plus, with a VPS, you can automate your trading and have your system run constantly – without you having to babysit a computer or watch a screen.
What is MT4 Hosting?
MT4 hosting provides service to a platform called MetaTrader 4 (MT4). MetaTrader 4 is widely acknowledged as the leading automated trading platform in the business. Many online forex brokers license or white-label MT4 for their trading.
The advantage of using forex hosting for your MT4 platform is that you can run the system pretty much all the time, with an uptime of 99.9999% (which equals 52.56 minutes of downtime per year) and high speeds. MT4 is the standard because it not only allows automated trading, but also provides statistics, analytics, and monitoring for any changes in the market that could represent an advantage.
MT4 can also incorporate Expert Advisors (EAs), which are programs used to enhance your trading experience and make automated trading easier. They plug into your trading platform, like MT4, and are essentially sophisticated trading widgets and scripts that are processed according to the rules and indicators you decide to use.
MT4 and MT5
You may have heard of another term – MT5. MT5 is an upgrade to the MT4 platform and contains several improvements over the former. The makers of MT5 claim it offers faster trading, enhanced security, and even more capable processing. I’m not saying you need to run out and upgrade to MT5 to be able to compete and make a profit; MT4 is still the standard (partially because MT5 is so relatively new; partially because MT4 still works and works well). I will say, though, that older indicators, EAs, and other add-ons with MT4 aren’t typically compatible with MT5.
Should You Use Forex Hosting?
Sure, forex hosting sounds cool and it undoubtedly offers advantages and benefits, but is it something every trader should get into?
For beginner forex traders and even most intermediate traders, forex hosting is a neat thing to have but probably not something you’ll utilize much at this point in your trading career. The capabilities of VPS and MT4 in particular are advantages if you need constant, high-speed connections and automated trading.
Beginners probably shouldn’t get heavily into automated trading.
For advanced traders who want to seriously pursue a career (or at least a pretty profitable hobby) in forex trading, though, forex hosting through a VPS and MT4 hosting may be recommended.
That isn’t to say you need forex hosting for successful trading; it’s just that this type of setup gives you a lot of advantages and additional capabilities that you normally wouldn’t have. If you trade heavily – or believe in using a lot of indicators, add-ons, widgets, gadgets, and gizmos – this type of trading may be for you.
You also gain the ability to work from home, or really trade from anywhere – as long as you can access a remote connection, you can trade. And even if you can’t – for example, your internet crashes – your automated trading system can still chug along in your absence.
Ask yourself how serious you plan to get about forex trading and how often you’ll trade. If you believe you’ll make this a central part of your life and plan on trading extensively – and I’m talking about more than just a few times a week – then forex hosting may very well be right up your alley.