Types of trading platform

A platform is the technology you use to actually place and manage your trades

With our platform and apps you can set up and manage the majority of your positions yourself. You might have to phone us occasionally, say if you’re placing a large trade or speculating on an unusual market, but otherwise you won’t usually need to contact us to take a position. So it’s important to choose a platform that you’re comfortable with, and that suits the way you want to trade – whether that’s at your desk or on the move.

We offer access to a number of different platforms. Here are some pointers to help you find the one that’s best placed to support your personal trading goals.

Platform format and accessibility

Trading platforms are available to use with various devices, so it’s worth considering when, where and how you’ll be doing most of your trading.

Desktop trading

For trading on your PC, the most flexible option is our web-based platform. You can access this via your browser wherever you have an internet connection.

We also offer downloadable software for advanced platforms:

  • L2 Dealer for direct market access (with shares and forex CFDs)
  • MetaTrader4 for algorithmic trading
  • ProRealTime for advanced charting

You’ll need to install these on computers you want to use them with.

Trading on the move

The markets don’t stop moving when you leave your desk, so it’s a good idea to install apps on your mobile devices that will enable you to monitor, open, close and manage positions wherever you go.

We offer a range of trading apps, each designed for a specific phone or tablet’s operating system.


We provide two different charting packages. The first is included in the IG platform and offers a simple, straightforward view, giving you a snapshot of how an asset’s value is changing. To help with your trading, our charts are clear, accessible and easy to understand. You can also trade directly from a market’s chart as soon as you spot an opportunity. 

We also offer a more sophisticated package – ProRealTime, the leading web-based charting package – that you can use for more advanced technical analysis.

Trading tools and alerts

With the right tools, you shouldn’t need to watch your screen all day to monitor the markets. You can find the following features in our platform:

  • Stops and limits can automatically open or close your positions
  • Trading alerts will notify you straight away if a market hits a price or follows a pattern that you specify

News feeds and analysis

The IG platform has an integrated feed of live, streaming news articles from Reuters – making it easier for you to keep track of market-moving events while you’re trading.

In addition, we offer a regular market commentary service from our own analysts to help you make sense of data releases and events as they happen. 

Our platform also offers analysis services from two third-party providers, Autochartist and Trading Central, which can send you alerts and recommendations when potential opportunities arise.


Our platform is customisable to your preferences. You can adjust the layout so you can focus on the tools and features you use regularly, and create your own watchlists of the markets that interest you, with the ability to view them all in one place at a glance.

Advanced features

Once you’ve built up some trading skill and experience, you may want to take advantage of some of the advanced platform features that we offer. For example, you can set up signals or use more sophisticated options and charting tools. 

You can also build automated trading strategies in ProRealTime, using specialised software to monitor the markets and create positions on your behalf.

You may not be ready to try these features when you first begin trading, but the range of platforms we offer can provide you with them once the time is right.

Demo account

You can learn how to use our platform and practise your trades by opening a demo account.

This is a dummy version of a real account that mirrors our platform’s features and functions. You trade using virtual funds, so you can open positions on live markets and try out the tools available, without any risk to your capital.

As well as enabling you to experience using the platform, this is also a useful way to practise your trading techniques and test your strategies in a safe environment, helping you feel more confident when you come to place real trades on the live platform.

Find out more about IG's trading platforms

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