By Jeffrey Cammack Author Information Updated: June 30, 2020

Forex demo accounts are free practice accounts that can be likened to flight simulators for pilots. In contrast to live accounts, where you make a cash deposit with a Forex broker to trade the live markets, a demo account is a virtual money account designed for beginners. They mimic real conditions and allow a trader to know what it is like to trade under real market conditions.

The primary purpose of demo accounts is to get hands-on experience before making a deposit. They also offer the opportunity to put what you have already learned into practice and test your trading strategy. Demo accounts are also used by experienced traders to test new strategies, trading robots and trading platforms, so you should always keep your demo account open.

Demo accounts are all about learning, so when we compare demo accounts we also look more generally at how a broker helps beginner clients. Every broker has a demo account, so we also look at the quality of their education material, customer service, market analysis and trading conditions. Since the best demo account will vary between people, we named our favourite broker and highlighted other brokers who stand out for their success in each of these areas.

These are the best Forex demo accounts.

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  • Broker
    AvaTrade

    AvaTrade  - Best Demo Account

    REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    B.V.I FSC B.V.I FSC
    FSA FSA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11111
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Good value, beginner-friendly and hugely respected all over the world, AvaTrade is one of the most reputable brokers in the industry. With support for the leading trading platforms and top-quality multilingual support, AvaTrade has built a brand on a solid reputation and continues to add to that reputation with the recent addition of AvaProtect - an automated loss-protection tool - to its product lineup.

    AvaTrade offers trading in Forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, exchange-traded funds, options, bonds, and equities and is a good choice for any type of forex trader ranging from beginners to scalpers and intraday traders to long-term traders.

    Pros

    • Good for beginners
    • Well regulated
    • Low minimum deposit

    Cons

    • Dealing desk
    • Limited education
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Islamic1.2 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Professional0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Retail0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    XM

    XM  - Most Trusted Broker

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    IFSC IFSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 5
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    XM Group has achieved substantial growth since opening in 2009, earning 1.5 million clients in 196 countries. XM’s operational philosophy is aimed at client satisfaction and low client turnover; they earn client loyalty through award-winning 24/5 personal customer service, varied account types and competitive trading conditions.

    Regulated the FCA, CySEC and ASIC and the recipient of many industry awards, XM Group stands out from a crowded field of market maker brokers for their customer service and educational support.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Excellent education
    • Wide range of assets
    • Fast and free withdrawals

    Cons

    • Dealing desk
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Micro1.0 pipsNoneInstantUSD 5 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneInstantUSD 5 Account Details
    XM Ultra Low0.6 pipsNoneInstantUSD 50 Account Details
    XM Zero0.6 pips$7.00InstantUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    Pepperstone

    Pepperstone  - Best Overall Broker

    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    DFSA DFSA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 200
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Founded in 2010, Pepperstone is an Australian ECN broker known for tight spreads, ultra-fast trade execution and broad platform support. Pepperstone's award-winning, 24-hour support provides the foundation for its excellent customer service, where personalised assistance is available via several methods.

    As our highest rated pure ECN broker, if you want to pay a small commission for tighter spreads, you won't find a better broker than Pepperstone.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Great platform choice
    • Wide range of assets

    Cons

    • High minimum deposit
    • Limited market analysis
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Razor0.0 pipsAUD$ 7ECNUSD 200 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneECNUSD 200 Account Details
    Swap-free1.0 pipsNoneECNUSD 200 Account Details
  • Broker
    IC Markets

    IC Markets  - Best Trading Conditions

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 200
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    IC Markets presents itself as the best and largest true ECN broker. It is ASIC and CySEC regulated and offers the MetaTrader4, MetaTrader5 and cTrader platforms. IC Markets is highly recommended to both new and experienced traders looking for faster execution and tighter spreads.

    Beginner traders will find the IC Markets account structure welcoming and simple to understand. IC Markets understands customer retention involves a combination of tighter spreads, cutting edge technology, fast trade execution and top quality customer service.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Wide range of assets
    • Great platform choice

    Cons

    • High minimum deposit
    • Limited market analysis
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    RAW - cTrader0.0 pips$3.00MarketUSD 200 Account Details
    RAW - MetaTrader0.0 pips$3.50MarketUSD 200 Account Details
    Standard - MetaTrader1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
  • Broker
    FxPro

    FxPro  - Best Trading Platforms

    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    CySEC CySEC
    FSCA FSCA
    DFSA DFSA
    SCB SCB
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    One of the most respected Forex brokers in the industry, well regulated by the FCA and CySEC, and with over 870,000 client accounts in 173 countries. FxPro is a powerhouse in the industry and very well respected among traditional brokers.

    With MT4, MT5, cTrader and a browser-based platform, a reasonable 100 USD opening deposit and outstanding customer service, FxPro also offers competitive spreads - often as low as 0.6 pips - to match profitability with security.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Great platform choice
    • Tight spreads

    Cons

    • Limited education
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    FxPro cTrader0.45 pips$4.50MarketUSD 100 Account Details
    FxPro MT41.2 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    FxPro MT51.52 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Islamic1.2 pipsVariableMarketUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    MarketsX

    MarketsX  - Most Assets Available

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 250
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Marketsx is a premium trading platform. It’s operated by Markets.com and offers traders fast, low-cost trading on over 2,200 financial instruments. Marketsx provides CFD trading on global stock, forex, commodity, indices, cryptocurrency, ETF and bond markets. Clients in the UK can also use spread bets on applicable instruments.

    The proprietary Marketx trading platform is packed full of features and trading tools and is optimised for lightning execution. As well as in-depth charting and asset comparison tools, Marketsx also gives traders a wealth of decision-supporting data with sentiment tools, tutorials, and regular live-streamed, expert analysis.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Wide range of assets
    • Fast and free withdrawals

    Cons

    • High minimum deposit
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Live0.9 pipsNoneInstantGBP 250 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    MAS MAS
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11100
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms
    • Plus500

    With 50+ Forex pairs available, tight spreads and fast execution, Plus500 is a popular broker with both its new and long-standing customers. Award-winning customer service is available 24/7 and the Plus500 platform is web-based with no need for any downloads or setup, making this a good provider for those starting out who want to keep it simple. 

    Plus500 has one account with a 100 USD minimum deposit requirement and keeps simplicity at the core of its business.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Wide range of assets

    Cons

    • Limited education
    • Limited account options
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard0.7 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Founded in 2001, easyMarkets has always innovated, introducing tools like negative balance protection and guaranteed stop-loss before anyone else. This innovation has continued with its unique easyTrade, Freeze Rate and dealCancellation tools, all intended to assist new traders and keep trading transparent and simple.

    easyMarkets still provides the strong basic services expected from a broker while constantly innovating to meet the greater expectations of the client base.  With simple account types, a strong variety of platforms to support traders, and a 50% deposit bonus for new traders, easyMarkets is easy to recommend.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Wide range of assets
    • Innovative trading tools

    Cons

    • Limited platform choice
    • Limited account options
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Islamic1.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Standard1.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Premium1.4 pipsNoneInstantUSD 2000 Account Details
    VIP0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 10000 Account Details
    Super VIP1.2 pipsNoneInstantUSD 50000 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    MAS MAS
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11111
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 50
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Founded in 1983, City Index is a traditional market maker now owned by the NYSE listed financial group, GAIN Capital. It has tight spreads and a varied platform choice, including MT4 and AT Pro; an advanced automated trading platform allowing for full customisation with powerful back-testing.

    City Index' education section is perfect at beginners who want to get up to speed quickly and customer service is open 24/5. Overall, a good market maker and competitive with traditional brokers of its size and type.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Wide range of assets
    • Excellent market analysis

    Cons

    • Slow withdrawals
    • Limited demo account
    • Limited education
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard0.5 pipsNoneInstantUSD 200 Account Details
    Premium0.5 pipsNoneInstantUSD 10000 Account Details
    Professional0.5 pipsNoneInstantUSD 500000+ Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    CySEC CySEC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    FP Markets is an ASIC-regulated, STP broker with simple account options and an exciting set of tools for traders with higher minimum deposits. Spreads are tight, even on the Standard Account, and the lack of dealing desk intervention for all accounts removes any concern over conflict of interest.

    Both the MT4 and MT5 platforms are supported and trader education and market analysis are well-presented, structured and useful. Overall, FP Markets is an excellent choice for beginner and more experienced traders alike.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Good range of accounts
    • Great customer support

    Cons

    • Expensive withdrawals
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard IRESSN/A pips$10 AUD min, then 0.1%STPUSD 1,000 Account Details
    Platinum IRESSN/A pips$9 AUD min, then 0.09%STPUSD 25,000 Account Details
    Premier IRESSN/A pipsNo min, then 0.08%STPUSD 50,000 Account Details
    RAW0.0 pips$3.50STPUSD 100 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneSTPUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FSC FSC
    FSA-Seychelles FSA-Seychelles
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11111
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    BDSwiss is a popular and well-regulated broker, based in Cyprus and founded in 2012. It offers a wide range of account types, including a new subscription-based Raw Spread Account, which features very tight spreads and no commission in return for a monthly payment.

    MT4 and MT5 are both supported and educational and analytical material are both excellent. More experienced traders will also find a lot to like with the Black Account, including free AutoChartist and one-on-one support.

    Overall, BDSwiss is a good choice for all traders and we are curious to see if the low-spread subscription model catches on.

    Pros

    • Tight spreads
    • Good for beginners
    • Wide range of assets

    Cons

    • Expensive withdrawals
    • Limited market analysis
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Basic1.5 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    RAW Spread0.0 pipsNoneInstantUSD 200 Account Details
    Black1.1 pipsNoneInstantUSD 10000 Account Details

See All UK Forex Brokers

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Open

Why should I use a Demo Account?

A Forex demo account is a trading account opened with a Forex broker with virtual money. A Forex demo account has all the elements of a real Forex account, except for the source of funds in the account – otherwise known as the capital. A real account has money sent by the trader to the broker, who then credits the account with the funds. But a demo account contains virtual money provided by the broker. Such funds can only be used for practice trades and cannot be converted into real funds.

Why Use a Demo Account?

Trading with real money can be a risky venture. All CFD brokers who are licensed by good regulators, such as CySEC in Cyprus, must clearly label their website and advertisements with a risk warning detailing what percentage of traders lose money on their platforms.

So, it is clear you can either win or lose. Winning and losing in Forex is a result of how well you know the market, your ability to use the trading platform correctly, the performance of your Forex trading strategy and your risk management strategies. These are all things that you can perfect with your demo account – let us look at how exactly it can help you become a better trader:

Learning

Learning starts with understanding your Forex trading platform and its features. Before you start trading with real money you should be able to answer all the following questions about your platform:

  • What are the functions, the keyboard shortcuts, and the various order types? How are all these deployed?
  • How do you pull charts, change from one-time frame to the other, or add indicators?
  • How do you deploy your Forex expert advisors (EAs)?
  • How do you add custom indicators to your platform?
  • How do you execute functions such as one-click trading, adding or removing indicators with two mouse clicks, or add or remove charts for various assets?
  • How do you set up market orders, pending orders, stop loss and take profit orders? What is the importance of using a trailing stop order and how do you adjust indicator parameters?

Testing: New Strategies, Indicators and Robots

Once you have mastered the use of the trading platform, it is time to use your demo Forex account to test your strategies and to learn the best use of indicators and Forex robots. The emphasis is not to give yourself a false sense of security by just posting profits, but to understand how each indicator works, and to find out whether your indicators and robots will work in live market conditions. You will also need some theoretical knowledge of the categories of indicators available and how they are used.

Attaining Platform Experience: MT4, MT5, cTrader, Proprietary Platforms

It makes a lot of sense to open a Forex trading demo account with the same platform that you will be trading a live account with. You should also use the same amounts you will fund your live accounts with, so you can use the same lot sizes and other trade parameters to mimic the exact conditions that you will face in live trading.

More than 98% of Forex brokers offer demo accounts on the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform. However, the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and cTrader platforms are also available for those who want extended functions such as algo trading (cTrader) or a Depth of Market (DOM) tool (MT5). Some brokers will also offer proprietary platforms, but you should only use them for demo trading if you plan to open a real account on the same platform.

Learning to Trade with a Forex Demo Account

When you are learning to trade Forex with a demo account, these are the concepts you should cover as part of your practice sessions.

Order types

Know the order types available on the platform you will use. The common order types are buy/sell (instant orders to buy or sell a currency pair at market price), limit orders and stop orders. But these are not the only order parameters you need to know. You should know how to set the prices for pending orders and set the expiration time for execution of pending orders (i.e. Good-till-Cancelled or Good-till-day for trader-specified or end of day expirations for pending orders respectively).

Leverage, Margin, Spreads and Currency Pairs

You should know how to set a lot size for your trade without jeopardising proper risk management. This means understanding how leverage and margin can affect the size of your orders. It is also important to know the spreads for each currency pair you plan to trade and to discover whether they are fixed or variable.

You should go through the list of currency pairs and know which ones are the major currencies, minor currencies and exotic pairs. Understand how they are priced and why exotic pairs have a larger range of movement than major currencies.

Charting and Tools

 You will need to understand how plug-ins work; Autochartist will plug-in directly to MT4/MT5 and cTrader and will help you detect chart patterns and trading opportunities. Learn how to add such plug-ins to the platform and onto charts. Use your Forex demo account to understand how to add indicators and EAs to the charts, and how to enable/disable them, especially if you are conducting trading using a VPS.

Fundamental Analysis: How Fundamentals Affect Price and Volatility

How does the news affect price action and volatility? Most brokers will have an economic calendar with the upcoming data releases for the major economies but trading geopolitical events, such as Brexit or the Coronavirus Pandemic can be a very tricky business. Know how each currency pair that is listed on the news calendar responds to the high-impact news releases. Know how the initial spikes occur and how they can be traded. Get an understanding of the advantages and pitfalls of direction-based and non-directional trading.

Technical Analysis: Support and Resistance Levels, Signals and Patterns

Each platform comes with a variety of line tools, Fibonacci tools and other tools necessary for chart studies. With a Forex demo account, you can learn how to use these tools to plot support levels, resistance levels, chart patterns, retracement and extension levels, and create trade alerts.

How to Choose A Demo Account?

The best Forex demo accounts are those which are free and unlimited. These allow you to practice at your own pace, whenever and wherever possible. You are not under pressure to complete your practice period within a set time. Unlimited accounts also help you to continue your trading studies once you have a live account.

Demo Accounts

Demo accounts will often stay open indefinitely once the trader opens a live account, and are the most suitable testing environment for new tools and strategies before trying them out in live trading.

You will also want to compare the various trading platforms in the market and assess their suitability for demo account use. MT4 is supported by nearly every Forex broker and is a good, user-friendly platform for beginners to start with. MT5 has all the features of MT4 but also has some extended features such as a depth of market (DOM) tool and the use of expanded time frames.

It is important to reiterate that a demo account is your live account simulation. Therefore, you would be best served opening the account with the same minimum trade size as you would use in your live account.

Most Forex platforms are also available as mobile apps. Mobile trading apps have evolved a lot over the years since the first ones became available a decade ago. To a large extent, the functionalities of Forex demo accounts available on desktop platform terminals are now captured by mobile apps. If you plan to be doing a lot of mobile trading, it makes sense to open and operate a demo Forex account on a mobile app as well.

Live Account vs Demo Account

A common pitfall of Forex demo accounts is the psychological aspect of using them. When traders know that no real money is involved and nothing is at stake, they tend to switch off and disconnect from the seriousness of the situation. There is a tendency to behave more carelessly when trading with a demo account. However, when real money is involved, traders will find anxiety and self-doubt to be near-constant companions. Forex trading with a demo account cannot prepare you for dealing with these emotions, and you should be prepared for this psychological challenge.

Furthermore, slippages and requotes that can occur in real money trading do not exist when using a demo Forex account.

How do you open a Forex Demo Account?

Opening a demo account only takes a few minutes. To get started:

  1. Visit a Forex broker where you would like to open an account
  2. Complete your personal information
  3. Verify your phone number or email address
  4. Follow the instructions on your screen and in your email.

The Best MT4 Demo Accounts

The best MT4 demo accounts offer real market conditions, premium charting packages for free, give beginner traders access to educational content, and trading using mobile phone applications.

We have a guide to setting up MT4 should you need the assistance getting started and more detail where we compare MT4 Forex brokers side-by-side.

The Risks of Forex Trading

Forex trading is very risky, and much of the risk is hard to manage.

If you are concerned about making trading losses, or if you feel that you can make smarter trades, you should take note of the following: A tiny percentage of traders consistently predict the market and fewer still make significant returns, so starting with a risk-free account is a wise move.  The Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s financial regulator, has data showing that 82% of traders will lose money on these products, so it is highly recommended to open a demo first and apply the risk management that is available to you before investing money.

Recommended Reading

If you are new to trading and don’t know how forex trading works, it is wise to start your reading here, and then move off to learning to trade Forex, and how to open a trading account

Forex Risk Disclaimer

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 

Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Over-leveraging, unpredictable market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection for clients.

Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more from the FCA or from ASIC)

Our Methodology

Our State of the Market Report and Broker Directory are the result of extensive research on over 100 Forex brokers. The explicit goal of these resources is to help traders find the best Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones – with the benefit of accurate and up-to-date information.

With over 150 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research and review writing, we believe we have succeeded in our goal. 

In a world where trading conditions and customer support can vary based on where you live, our broker reviews focus on the local trader and give you information about these brokers from your perspective.

All research has been conducted by our in-house team of researchers and writers, gathering information from various company representatives, websites and by sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers.

Sources

These resources were used in writing this article in order to keep accuracy of the information.

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
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