Best High-Frequency Trading Brokers

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Michael MacKenzie
Michael is a writer and editor with over a decade in journalism and publishing. His niche lies in editing and fact-checking content in the financial services sector, with a focus on online brokers and trading platforms. Michael previously reported on politics and economics in the Middle East and edits books for established publishers.
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James Barra
James is an investment writer with a background in financial services. He has worked as a management consultant, where he delivered large-scale operational transformational programmes at some of Europe's biggest banks. James authors, edits and fact-checks content for a series of investing websites.
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Jemma Grist
Jemma is a writer, editor and fact-checker focused on retail trading and investing. Jemma brings a unique perspective to the forex, stock, and cryptocurrency markets and works across several investment websites as a researcher and broker analyst.
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The best brokers for high-frequency trading (HFT) provide low latency to minimize delays, superior pricing to enhance margins, and extensive automation capabilities. The result: high-volume algorithmic trading at a price point that allows for profits on tiny market movements.

Explore our pick of the top high-frequency trading platforms. We’ve personally tested every broker, revealing trustworthy firms with fast execution, excellent spreads and commissions, and terrific algo trading tools.

Best 3 HFT Brokers

Based on our latest tests, these 3 brokers are a cut above the rest for high-frequency traders:

Click a broker for details
  1. 1
    FOREX.com
    Active Trader Program With A 15% Reduction In Costs

    Ratings
    4.9 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.6 / 5
    3.8 / 5

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:50
    NFA, CFTC
    Forex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options
    MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
    Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, ACH Transfer
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, PLN
  2. 2
    Interactive Brokers

    Ratings
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5

    $0
    $100
    1:50
    FCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
    Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
    Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
    Cheque, ACH Transfer, Wire Transfer, Automated Customer Account Transfer Service, TransferWise, Debit Card
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, JPY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, AED, HUF
  3. 3
    IG
    Forex trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.

    Ratings
    4.9 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.9 / 5
    5 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro)
    FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA, CONSOB
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting
    Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
    PayPal, Wire Transfer, Mastercard, Credit Card, Visa, Debit Card
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, ZAR, SEK, DKK, CHF, HKD, SGD

Here is a short summary of why we think each broker belongs in this top list:

  1. FOREX.com - Founded in 1999, FOREX.com is now part of StoneX, a financial services organization serving over one million customers worldwide. Regulated in the US, UK, EU, Australia and beyond, the broker offers thousands of markets, not just forex, and provides excellent pricing on cutting-edge platforms.
  2. Interactive Brokers - Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.
  3. IG - Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand-US offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.

Best High-Frequency Trading Brokers Comparison

Best High-Frequency Trading Brokers Comparison
Broker HFT Rating Fast Execution Minimum Deposit Algo Trading Tools Regulator
FOREX.com logo
3.5 / 5 $100 Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader NFA, CFTC
Interactive Brokers logo
4.6 / 5 $0 Capitalise.ai & TWS API FCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
IG logo
4.2 / 5 $0 Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader, build your own on ProRealTime FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA, CONSOB

FOREX.com

"FOREX.com remains a best-in-class brokerage for active forex traders of all experience levels, with over 80 currency pairs, tight spreads from 0.0 pips and low commissions. The powerful charting platforms collectively offer over 100 technical indicators, as well as extensive research tools."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

FOREX.com Quick Facts

Bonus OfferActive Trader Program With A 15% Reduction In Costs
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options
RegulatorNFA, CFTC
PlatformsMT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$100
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, PLN

Pros

  • The in-house Web Trader continues to shine as one of the best-designed platforms for aspiring day traders with a slick design and over 80 technical indicators for market analysis.
  • There’s a wealth of educational resources including tutorials, webinars, and a stacked YouTube channel to help you get educated in the financial markets.
  • FOREX.com offers industry-leading forex pricing starting from 0.0 pips, alongside competitive cashback rebates of up to 15% for serious day traders.

Cons

  • Demo accounts are frustratingly time-limited to 90 days, which doesn’t give you enough time to test day trading strategies effectively.
  • Funding options are limited compared to leading alternatives like IC Markets and don’t include many popular e-wallets, notably UnionPay and POLi.
  • There’s no negative balance protection for US clients, so you may find yourself owing more money than your initial deposit into your account.

Interactive Brokers

"Interactive Brokers is one of the best brokers for advanced day traders, providing powerful charting platforms, real-time data, and customizable layouts, notably through the new IBKR Desktop application. Its superb pricing and advanced order options also make it highly attractive for day traders, while its diverse range of equities is still among the best in the industry."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

Interactive Brokers Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsStocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
RegulatorFCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
PlatformsTrader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade$100
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, JPY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, AED, HUF

Pros

  • While primarily geared towards experienced traders, IBKR has made moves to broaden its appeal in recent years, reducing its minimum deposit from $10,000 to $0.
  • The TWS platform has clearly been built for intermediate and advanced traders and comes with over 100 order types and a reliable real-time market data feed that rarely goes offline.
  • IBKR is one of the most respected and trusted brokerages and is regulated by top-tier authorities, so you can have confidence in the integrity and security of your trading account.

Cons

  • IBKR provides a wide range of research tools, but their distribution across trading platforms and the web-based 'Account Management' page lacks consistency, leading to a confusing user experience.
  • Support can be slow and frustrating based on tests, so you might find it challenging to reach customer service representatives promptly or encounter delays in resolving issues.
  • TWS’s learning curve is steep, and beginners may find it challenging to navigate the platform and understand all the features. Plus500's web platform is much better suited to new traders.

IG

"IG continues to provide a comprehensive package with an intuitive web platform and best-in-class education for beginners, plus advanced charting tools, real-time data, and fast execution speeds for experienced day traders."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

IG Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting
RegulatorFCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA, CONSOB
PlatformsWeb, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, ZAR, SEK, DKK, CHF, HKD, SGD

Pros

  • The ProRealTime advanced charting platform is free as long as certain modest monthly trading activity requirements are met
  • The IG app offers a superb mobile trading experience with a clean design that helped it secure Runner Up at our Best Trading App award
  • The proprietary web-based platform continues to caters to traders of all levels, with advanced charting tools and real-time market data useful for day trading

Cons

  • Beginners might find IG’s fee structure complex, with various fees for different types of trades or services, potentially leading to confusion or unexpected charges
  • Stock and CFD spreads still trail the cheapest brokers like CMC Markets based on tests
  • While there is negative balance protection in the UK and EU, there is no account protection or guaranteed stop losses for US clients

Methodology

To list the best platforms for high-frequency trading, we:

  • Assigned brokers that are suitable for high-frequency trading a rating from 1 to 5. The key areas we considered are speed, infrastructure, trading fees, and tools for developing trading algorithms.
  • Ranked the shortlisted brokers by their overall rating, combining 100+ data points and the first-hand observations of our testers, revealing the very best platforms for high-frequency trading.

Choosing A Broker For High-Frequency Trading

Whilst most high-frequency trading (HFT) firms use institutional brokers, some platforms accept retail traders. These are the most important features to consider when choosing an online broker for high-frequency trading:

Latency and Speed

Since high-frequency trading strategies typically rely on extremely fast trade execution to gain an edge, look for a broker with execution speeds measured in milliseconds (ms) or even microseconds (µs).

We consider any broker with speeds averaging 100ms or lower ‘fast’, but for high-frequency trading, you should be looking to shave away every millisecond to capitalize on tiny price discrepancies that can vanish in seconds.

💡
HFT infrastructure is usually located near a brokerage’s data centre to reduce any delay between the time orders are submitted and executed.
  • IC Markets remains one of the fastest brokers our experts have used, with speeds averaging just 35ms from its New York-based servers. It also boasts terrific pricing with raw spreads averaging 0.1 pips on EUR/USD, plus a stacked suite of HFT tools, including MT4, MT5, and cTrader.

Liquidity

With high-frequency trading normally involving placing a very high volume of orders, look for brokers with connections to multiple liquidity providers, as these tend to offer superior access to deep liquidity pools, which is crucial for filling orders with minimal price slippage.

Retail traders interested in HFT also need to find the right opportunities where they have a chance of success with this strategy, and primarily focus on highly liquid markets where price discrepancies can be capitalized on rapidly. For example, you may be interested in a broker with forex, stocks, commodities or cryptos.

  • XM works with several liquidity providers and its instrument list runs the gamut from its 1400 stocks to 50+ forex pairs, and also includes cryptos, indices, and commodities. We even awarded XM our ‘Best MT4 Broker’ because of its solid pricing, excellent support during testing and account options that make it great for HFT.

Software

More than most strategies, the success of HFT is heavily reliant on the speed and stability of the software you use. So, look for a broker with sophisticated platforms like MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader and APIs that can handle high-volume algorithmic trading.

💡
Also consider brokers with a VPS. These have significant advantages for HFT, providing hosting services close to prominent financial exchanges, minimizing latency and improving execution speeds. They are also dedicated resources, ensuring consistent performance with limited downtime.
  • OANDA continues to impress with its automated trading support, which includes API libraries with Python tutorials, and Algo Labs to assist in pre-programming your trades. With its VPS support and an advantageous rebate programme in the US, OANDA has everything high-frequency traders need.

Pricing

High-frequency trading, more than many types of trading styles, can rack up fees since it involves executing a high volume of trades, so look for a broker with tight spreads and a favorable commission structure.

Over years of trading and reviewing brokers, we’ve found that the spread is usually the most important factor in strategies like high-frequency trading that aim to profit on slight price movements.

That’s why many of our recommended brokers offer spreads from or near 0.0 pips. You may need to pay a commission per lot to access this pricing, though this can be <$3.50 per side per lot, with some firms also running rebate schemes that cut costs for high-volume traders.

  • IC Markets’ pricing model is a key reason it remains one of our experts’ favorite brokers for high-frequency trading, with industry-leading spreads from 0.0 pips on its Raw account and rebates through its Raw Trader Plus programme of $1.50 to $2.50 per lot.

Regulation

Since high-frequency traders typically deal in large amounts, it’s essential to sign up with a trusted broker who will safeguard your funds.

I recommend choosing a trading platform authorized by a ‘green-tier’ regulator, such as the FCA in the UK and the SEC in the US.

These bodies enforce various rules, such as requiring brokers to offer the best possible trade execution for clients (key for HFT) and access to investor compensation in the event of brokerage insolvency.

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Michael MacKenzie
Author

It can also be an advantage to sign up with an established broker with a large presence, since these often work with a greater number of liquidity providers and have the most sophisticated technical setup, meaning potentially less chance of downtime or liquidity issues disrupting HFT setups.

  • FOREX.com has long stood near the top of our rankings, achieving a near-perfect 4.9/5 Trust score with a stellar record since 2001. Its authorization from nine top regulators in the US, UK, Europe, Asia and Australia covers high-frequency traders all over the world, and its parent company, StoneX, is NASDAQ-listed.

Risk Management

High-frequency trading often involves a large volume of trades and relies on high leverage, so unexpected volatility can lead to large downsides. As such, look for brokers that offer sophisticated risk management features to help control potential losses in fast-moving markets.

Standard risk management tools like stop loss orders can help prevent large losses, but some of our top HFT brokers provide additional tools such as trade protection.

  • OANDA’s guaranteed stop-loss tool is still one of the most useful features our experts have found. It’s affordable, integrated seamlessly into the platform, and ensures that your trade will stop out at the limit you define regardless of slippage.

FAQ

Which Is The Best Broker For High-Frequency Trading?

The most suitable HFT broker for you depends on several factors, including your strategy, location and technical setup.

IC Markets is one excellent option because it has some of the fastest execution speeds around (averaging <35ms), supports trading robots (cTrader Automate, MetaTrader Expert Advisors) and offers a host of useful features including VPS hosting (ForexVPS.net and NYCServers).

See our list of the top HFT brokers to find the right platform for your needs.

High-frequency trading is incredibly difficult, requiring advanced technology, significant trading capital, and real skill. Only risk what you can afford to lose.