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Best ECN Forex Brokers

Marcus Taylor

Written by Marcus Taylor

February 01, 2023

The Electronic Communication Network (ECN) method of executing trades is one of the most transparent methods of trading available to retail traders. This is because ECN brokers allow the trader to get access to the actual pricing of currencies as set by the big banks (who function as liquidity providers), while also displaying the orders of the trader in the market.

This is in contrast to the market making system, where pricing and order fulfilment is handled internally by the market maker’s dealing desk. So the ECN brokerage provides a non-dealing desk environment which allows the trader to trade against other traders and the banks, and not the broker itself.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 65% and 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Best ECN Forex Brokers

Here are the best ECN forex brokers.

  • IG
    - 9.9/10 Overall
  • Saxo Bank - 9.7/10 Overall
  • Interactive Brokers - 9.7/10 Overall
  • CMC Markets - 9.6/10 Overall
  • TD Ameritrade - 9.5/10 Overall
  • FOREX.com
    - 9.3/10 Overall
  • City Index - 9.2/10 Overall
  • XTB - 9/10 Overall
  • eToro - 8.8/10 Overall
Overall Rating
9.9 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
£250.00
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.86 (September 2022)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.5957 (September 2022)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1974
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankYes
Tier-1 Licenses7
Tier-2 Licenses2
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Mobile Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)19537
Forex Pairs (Total)100
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)33
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes
Overall Rating
9.7 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
€2,000
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.9 (September 2022)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.7 (September 2022)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1992
Publicly Traded (Listed)No
BankYes
Tier-1 Licenses6
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Mobile Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)60000
Forex Pairs (Total)190
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)62
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes
Overall Rating
9.7 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$0
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.6 (Aug 2022)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.6 (Aug 2022)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)No
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1977
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses8
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Mobile Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)8500
Forex Pairs (Total)90
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingNo
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)128
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes
Overall Rating
9.6 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$0
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.51 (August 2022)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.51 (August 2022)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1989
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses5
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Mobile Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)12377
Forex Pairs (Total)158
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)84
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes
Overall Rating
9.5 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$0
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.25 pips (September 2022)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active1.25 pips (September 2022)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)No
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1955
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankYes
Tier-1 Licenses4
Tier-2 Licenses0
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingYes
Mobile Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)0
Forex Pairs (Total)73
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingNo
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)360
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes
Overall Rating
9.3 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$100
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.0 (July 2022)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active1.0 (July 2022)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1999
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses4
Tier-2 Licenses2
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Mobile Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)5500
Forex Pairs (Total)91
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)Yes
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingNo
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)203
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes
Overall Rating
9.2 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
£100.00
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.0 (July 2022)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active1.0 (July 2022)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1983
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses3
Tier-2 Licenses2
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Mobile Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)13500
Forex Pairs (Total)84
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)88
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes
Overall Rating
9 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$0
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.07 (Q3 2022)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active1.04 (Q3 2022)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded2002
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses1
Tier-2 Licenses3
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Mobile Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)12000
Forex Pairs (Total)49
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)39
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes
Overall Rating
8.8 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$10-$10,000
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1 (August 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - ActiveN/A
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded2007
Publicly Traded (Listed)No
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses2
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Mobile Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)3458
Forex Pairs (Total)49
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)66
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)No
Economic CalendarYes

Advantages of ECN Brokers

The ECN system ensures the full transparency of pricing and trade executions since everything is fed from the liquidity providers to the trader (pricing and trade execution) and from the trader back to the liquidity providers (trade orders), without any interference from the broker.

In addition, the direct market access (DMA) technology which provides access to pricing from several liquidity providers ensures that there are no re-quotes and execution as the order price is virtually guaranteed.

Some of the further advantages of ECN Brokers are:

  • Traders have a choice of what bid and ask prices to use for their orders, since the pricing is being provided by not just one, but several liquidity providers.
  • All trading strategies including scalping are accepted on ECN platforms because ECN brokers make more money the bigger the deal flow and not from winning or losing the trades of customers.
  • ECN brokers are able to fill larger orders as trades are routed to several liquidity providers and not just a single buyer/seller.
  • By having access to the Order Book, it is possible for traders on the ECN platform to visualize the bids and ask prices at which other market participants are trading. This will provide some idea as to where the order flows are going and provide some insight into the future direction of the market for a currency pair.

Challenges of Using an ECN Brokers

One factor that traders have to contend with is the cost of ECN trading. ECN brokers will generally charge a commission on every trade placed and it is only economical for larger trades and higher frequency traders as compared to the market maker model of only charging a spread markup.

Liquidity requirements are also high with ECN trading since the trader is dealing directly with the liquidity providers. Unlike the market maker model where the market makers provide liquidity intervention on behalf of traders, the responsibility of meeting the liquidity requirements in the ECN model rests solely on the trader. As such, the account opening capital requirement for an ECN account can be much higher.

Some of the other challenges facing ECB Brokers include:

  • Traders have to contend with variable spreads (spreads can widen in an instant when volatility is high) and also have to pay commissions for trade entry and trade exit.
  • Minimum trade sizes tend to be much larger and due to the commission charge when entering and exiting a position, it is not as viable for smaller trades.
  • To get the best prices, clients will have to meet minimum trade requirements. This is generally not a problem for traders who meet certain conditions and benefit from the lower prices.

ECN Brokers Conclusion

There are several brokers that provide both market making and ECN trading models. There are brokers that are exclusively ECN brokers, and others which work exclusively as dealing desk market makers.

As a general rule, ECN brokers are suitable for traders who can meet the capital requirements and want a trading platform with generally superior trading conditions.

BrokerNotes.co 2023 Overall Rankings

To recap, here are our top forex brokers for 2023, sorted by Overall ranking.

Company Overall Rating Minimum Initial Deposit Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard Trust Score Tradeable Symbols (Total) Read Review Visit Site
IG logoIG 9.9 £250.00 0.86 (September 2022) 99 19537 IG Review Visit Site
Saxo Bank logoSaxo Bank 9.7 €2,000 0.9 (September 2022) 99 60000 Saxo Bank Review
Interactive Brokers logoInteractive Brokers 9.7 $0 0.6 (Aug 2022) 99 8500 Interactive Brokers Review
CMC Markets logoCMC Markets 9.6 $0 0.51 (August 2022) 99 12377 CMC Markets Review
TD Ameritrade logoTD Ameritrade 9.5 $0 1.25 pips (September 2022) 99 0 TD Ameritrade Review
FOREX.com logoFOREX.com 9.3 $100 1.0 (July 2022) 99 5500 FOREX.com Review Visit Site
City Index logoCity Index 9.2 £100.00 1.0 (July 2022) 99 13500 City Index Review
XTB logoXTB 9 $0 1.07 (Q3 2022) 95 12000 XTB Group Review
eToro logoeToro 8.8 $10-$10,000 1 (August 2021) 93 3458 eToro Review
Swissquote logoSwissquote 8.7 $1000 N/A 99 466 Swissquote Review
AvaTrade logoAvaTrade 8.6 $100 0.91 (Aug 2020) 93 1260 AvaTrade Review
FXCM logoFXCM 8.5 Starts from $50 1.38 (Q2 2022) 96 441 FXCM Review
Plus500 logoPlus500 8.5 €100 0.6 (as of Aug 2018) 98 2800 Plus500 Review
Capital.com logoCapital.com 8.4 $20 0.6 (July 2021) 77 6000 Capital.com Review
XM Group logoXM Group 8.4 $5 1.6 (Aug 2020) 90 1372 XM Group Review
Pepperstone logoPepperstone 8.4 $200 0.77 (September 2022) 93 1200 Pepperstone Review
OANDA logoOANDA 8.4 $0 1.26 (5/22-5/27/22) 92 124 OANDA Review
Admiral Markets logoAdmiral Markets 8.3 $100 0.8 (July 2021) 87 8425 Admiral Markets Review
FP Markets logoFP Markets 8.3 $100 AUD 1.2 (August 2022) 86 10000 FP Markets Review
IC Markets logoIC Markets 8.2 $200 0.62 (August 2022) 86 3583 IC Markets Review
Markets.com logoMarkets.com 8.2 $100 1.9 (as of Oct 2019) 98 2179 Markets.com Review
FxPro logoFxPro 8.1 $100 1.51 (August 2020) 90 2249 FxPro Review
Fineco Bank logoFineco Bank 7.9 $0 N/A 92 126 Fineco Bank Review
Tickmill logoTickmill 7.9 $100 0.51 (August 2022) 82 295 Tickmill Review
BlackBull Markets logoBlackBull Markets 7.9 $0 0.827 (August 2022) 74 26000 BlackBull Markets Review
DooPrime logoDooPrime 7.8 $100 -1 84 10000 DooPrime Review
BDSwiss logoBDSwiss 7.8 $100-$5000 (depending on account type) 1.6 (08/10/22) 83 1081 BDSwiss Review
TMGM logoTMGM 7.8 $100 0.96 (July 2021) 79 12000 TMGM Review
HFM logoHFM 7.7 $5 1.2 (August 2021) 85 3500 HFM Review
FlowBank logoFlowBank 7.7 $0.00 N/A 77 408600 FlowBank Review
HYCM (Henyep) logoHYCM (Henyep) 7.7 $100 0.6 (Sept 2021) 86 245 HYCM Review
Vantage logoVantage 7.7 $50 1.22 (August 2021) 83 1000 Vantage Review
Trading 212 logoTrading 212 7.6 EUR 10 N/A 77 1785 Trading 212 Review
Eightcap logoEightcap 7.6 $100 1.0 (Aug 2022) 87 326 Eightcap Review
Trade Nation logoTrade Nation 7.5 $0 0.6 83 601 Trade Nation Review
Moneta Markets logoMoneta Markets 7.5 $50 1.27 (September 2022) 71 965 Moneta Markets Review
ThinkMarkets logoThinkMarkets 7.4 $250.00 N/A 86 1674 ThinkMarkets Review
VT Markets logoVT Markets 7.4 $200 1.2 (September 2021) 71 168 VT Markets Review
ACY Securities logoACY Securities 7.4 $50 1.2 (Sept 2021) 75 1600 ACY Securities Review
easyMarkets logoeasyMarkets 7.3 $100 0.9 (as of Mar 2020) 84 199 a href="/reviews/easymarkets">easyMarkets Review
RoboForex (RoboMarkets) logoRoboForex (RoboMarkets) 7.3 $100 1.4 (Jan 2022) 69 12000 Roboforex (RoboMarkets) Review
IronFX logoIronFX 7.2 $50 1.2 84 340 IronFX Review
Exness logoExness 7.2 $1 0.9 (as of May 19) 74 112 Exness Review
Spreadex logoSpreadex 7.2 $0 -1 70 2000 Spreadex Review
Trade360 logoTrade360 7.1 $250 N/A 75 1062 Trade360 Review
AxiTrader logoAxiTrader 7.1 0 N/A 83 175 Axitrader Review Visit Site
GKFX logoGKFX 7.1 $0 N/A 66 354 GKFX Review
Vestle logoVestle 7.1 -1 -1 79 750 Vestle Review
OctaFX logoOctaFX 7 $25 0.6 (August 2021) 67 80 OctaFX Review
FXOpen logoFXOpen 7 $100 N/A 80 87 FXOpen Review
TeleTrade logoTeleTrade 7 $100 -1 67 500 Teletrade Review
FXPrimus logoFXPrimus 6.9 $100 N/A 69 140 FXPrimus Review Visit Site
Forex4you logoForex4you 6.9 $0 -1 62 150 Forex4you Review
LegacyFX logoLegacyFX 6.9 $500 0 75 425 LegacyFX Review
GBE brokers logoGBE brokers 6.8 $500 -1 69 500 GBE Brokers Review
Alpari logoAlpari 6.8 $20 N/A 67 105 Alpari Review
TopFX logoTopFX 6.7 Depends on payment method N/A 67 655 TopFX Review
Libertex (Forex Club) logoLibertex (Forex Club) 6.7 $10 -1 72 300 Libertex Review
ATFX logoATFX 6.6 $500 -1 70 150 ATFX Review
UFX logoUFX 6.6 $100 3 (Jan 2021) 67 619 UFX Review
Xtrade logoXtrade 6.5 $250 -1 80 142 Xtrade Review
Tradeo logoTradeo 6.4 $200 -1 67 256 Tradeo Review
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Forex Risk Disclaimer

There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more about foreign exchange risk.

About the Editorial Team

Marcus Taylor
Marcus Taylor

BrokerNotes was founded in 2014 by Marcus Taylor, founder and CEO of Venture Harbor, a venture studio in Oxford that develops innovative online tools & technology across a range of sectors.


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