Best ECN Brokers

The technology behind true ECN brokers allows for faster executions and tighter spreads with higher leverage and greater transparency. Here we list the best ECN brokers in the world 2024 and also explain how ECN brokers work, their benefits and drawbacks and how to get started.

Top 6 ECN Brokers

We have reviewed almost 500 brokers and these are the 6 best ECN brokers:

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
    DNA Markets

    Ratings
    3 / 5
    4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.9 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.6 / 5
    1.8 / 5
    1.6 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.4 / 5

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:500
    ASIC
    CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto
    MT4, MT5
    Credit Card, Debit Card, Wire Transfer, BPAY, Skrill, Neteller, Bitcoin Payments, Bitwallet, AstroPay, Mastercard
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD
  3. 3
    Axofa
    10% Deposit Bonus

    $1
    0.01 Lots
    1:1000
    SVGFSA
    Forex, CFDs, Stocks, Indices, Commodities
    MT5
    Debit Card, Credit Card, Visa, Mastercard, Neteller, Skrill, Bitcoin Payments, Wire Transfer
    USD, IDR
  4. 4
    Sage FX
    $1,500 trading competition

    $10
    0.01 Lots
    1:500
    Pending
    Forex, indices, cryptos
    TradeLocker
    Credit Card, Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin Payments, Ethereum Payments
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD
  5. 5
    Coinexx
    100% Deposit Welcome Bonus

    0.001 BTC
    0.01 Lots
    1:500
    Forex, Commodities, Indices, Cryptocurrencies
    MT4, MT5
    Bitcoin Payments, Ethereum Payments
    USD
  6. 6
    World Forex
    100% Deposit Bonus

    $1
    0.01 Lots
    1:1000
    SVGFSA
    Forex, CFD Stocks, Metals, Energies, Cryptos, Digital Contracts
    MT4, MT5
    Wire Transfer, Debit Card, Credit Card, Visa, Mastercard, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Perfect Money, Bitcoin Payments, Volet
    USD, EUR, RUB

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. DNA Markets - DNA Markets is a forex and CFD broker established in 2020. The broker operates two entities in Australia and the offshore jurisdiction, St Vincent and the Grenadines. Traders can access 800+ markets, with a Standard account for beginners and a Raw account for experienced traders. The reliable MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms are available, alongside Signal Start.
  3. Axofa - Axofa is a forex and CFD broker registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The broker offers three account types with access to forex, commodities and indices. With ECN processing, low minimum deposits and no commissions, Axofa remains an attractive option, although the broker does not hold a reputable license.
  4. Sage FX - SageFX is an offshore, unregulated CFD broker that offers highly leveraged trading on forex, stocks, commodities, indices and crypto via the TradeLocker platform. Traders can access commission-free trading or an ECN account with tight spreads. While the broker's regulatory status is weak, it does provide segregated accounts and two-factor authentication.
  5. Coinexx - Coinexx is an unregulated broker that provides leverage up to 1:500 on forex, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies with deep liquidity, pure ECN spreads and negative balance protection. The broker uses crypto as base currencies and has low minimum deposit requirements of 0.001 BTC.
  6. World Forex - World Forex is an offshore broker registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines, offering commission-free trading with a $1 minimum deposit and 1:1000 leverage. Digital contracts are also available, offering beginners a straightforward way to speculate on popular financial markets.

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

  • Alongside a choice of leading platforms, FOREX.com offers a superb suite of supplementary tools including Trading Central research, SMART Signals pattern scanner, trading signals, and strategy builders.
  • There’s a wealth of educational resources including tutorials, webinars, and a stacked YouTube channel to help you get educated in the financial markets.
  • With over 20 years of experience, excellent regulatory oversight, and multiple accolades including runner-up in our 'Best Forex Broker' awards, FOREX.com boasts a global reputation as a trusted brokerage.

Cons

  • FOREX.com's MT4 platform offers approximately 600 instruments, significantly fewer than the over 5,500 available on its non-MetaTrader platforms.
  • Despite increasing its range of instruments, FOREX.com's product portfolio is still limited to forex and CFDs, so there are no options to invest in real stocks, real ETFs or real cryptocurrencies.
  • Demo accounts are frustratingly time-limited to 90 days, which doesn’t give you enough time to test day trading strategies effectively.

DNA Markets

"DNA Markets is an excellent choice for short-term traders familiar with the MetaTrader platforms. The smooth sign-up process also makes it easy to get started while the $100 minimum deposit is accessible. That said, DNA Markets trails the top brokers in education, research and mobile trading. "

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

DNA Markets Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto
RegulatorASIC
PlatformsMT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$100
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:500
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD

Pros

  • You can access low trading fees with spreads from 0.0 pips in the Raw account and zero non-trading fees
  • After a recent upgrade, there are now over 800 assets available to trade via CFDs, with a particularly impressive range of 120+ cryptos
  • Convenient account funding is available with 7 base currencies, a $100 deposit and a wide range of payment methods

Cons

  • Despite access to MT4 and MT5, there is no proprietary trading app for seamless account management whilst on the go
  • Unlike many alternatives, there are limited educational and research tools for traders seeking an all-in-one solution
  • Although it continues to strengthen its client base and reputation, DNA Markets lacks the track record of top brokers like Vantage

Axofa

"Axofa could be a good option for clients looking for social trading features alongside the MT5 platform. The low entry requirements and ECN spreads are particularly promising, but the lack of transparency and respected regulatory oversight raises security concerns."

William Berg, Reviewer

Axofa Quick Facts

Bonus Offer10% Deposit Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, CFDs, Stocks, Indices, Commodities
RegulatorSVGFSA
PlatformsMT5
Minimum Deposit$1
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:1000
Account CurrenciesUSD, IDR

Pros

  • Low ECN spreads are available from 0.0 pips, plus reasonable commissions at $3.50 per side
  • The broker offers a range of local payment methods, especially for clients in Asia, as well as crypto deposits
  • Axofa offers the MetaTrader 5 platform which will particularly serve intermediate to experienced traders looking for advanced charting tools

Cons

  • Our team found inconsistencies between international subsidiaries and website information
  • There is a lack of transparency around pricing and account conditions, which significantly reduces the trust score
  • There is limited verifiable information about the broker’s owners and background

Sage FX

"Sage FX will suit forex traders looking for high leverage and ECN spreads. The broker's prop trading service will also appeal to users looking for funded accounts with up to $200K available."

Tobias Robinson, Reviewer

Sage FX Quick Facts

Bonus Offer$1,500 trading competition
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, indices, cryptos
RegulatorPending
PlatformsTradeLocker
Minimum Deposit$10
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:500
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD

Pros

  • Ability to deposit and withdraw via Bitcoin
  • High leverage up to 1:500
  • Flexible accounts with STP and ECN solutions available

Cons

  • Not regulated by any reputable body
  • Lacks educational resources and other extra features
  • Relatively narrow range of asset classes

Coinexx

"Traders seeking highly leveraged CFDs with a broker that uses crypto as a base account currency will find a good match in Coinexx. The ECN model also offer tight spreads from 0 pips. On the downside, traders should note the weak regulatory oversight."

Tobias Robinson, Reviewer

Coinexx Quick Facts

Bonus Offer100% Deposit Welcome Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Commodities, Indices, Cryptocurrencies
PlatformsMT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit0.001 BTC
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:500
Account CurrenciesUSD

Pros

  • Full range of investments including cryptos
  • Demo account available to prospective traders
  • 100% deposit bonus for new clients

Cons

  • No fiat account funding options - crypto only
  • Limited educational materials for new traders
  • No copy trading service for aspiring investors

World Forex

"World Forex provides both highly leveraged CFDs and digital contracts, making this a good broker for clients who want flexible and rewarding ways to trade. The copy trading service will also appeal to newer traders."

Tobias Robinson, Reviewer

World Forex Quick Facts

Bonus Offer100% Deposit Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, CFD Stocks, Metals, Energies, Cryptos, Digital Contracts
RegulatorSVGFSA
PlatformsMT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$1
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:1000
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, RUB

Pros

  • Educational content
  • Copy trading solution
  • Several different account types with varied pricing structures

Cons

  • No negative balance protection
  • Weak regulation
  • Withdrawal fees apply

What Is An ECN Broker?

The simple definition is that Electronic Communication Network (ECN) brokers enable traders to place competing bids against each other. They are Non-Dealing Desk (NDD) brokers, meaning that instead of passing orders to market makers who take the opposing position in a trade, they connect buyers directly with sellers. When they cannot match two counter-parties, they reflect the highest bid and lowest ask price listed in the open market.

ECN forex brokers act as a major source of liquidity for retail traders versus major market makers like large banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions. They are the fastest-growing brokerages globally and are particularly popular for forex trading, offering greater transparency for investors.

ECN trading brokers

ECN Brokers Vs STP Brokers

ECN brokers are very similar to Straight Through Processing (STP) providers. STP brokers also have no dealing desk. Listed trades are routed to the broker’s group of liquidity providers, such as hedge funds, big banks and investors. These providers act as counter-parties for each trade and compete for the best bid/ask spreads. The broker effectively acts as a silent facilitator, connecting the trader with its internal liquidity pool and taking its fee from a mark-up in the spread.

The primary difference with ECN vs STP brokers is routing. Whereas the STP broker provides access to different providers in their liquidity pool, the ECN plays the role of a hub. The hub essentially acts as the primary liquidity source, formed of the different hedge funds, banks and market players. The other notable difference is position size. ECN brokers typically cap minimum position sizes at 0.1 lots. This is a result of few liquidity providers being able to cater to smaller position sizes, which can prove challenging for beginners.

Both ECN and STP models offer fast executions and tight spreads which lend them to a range of strategies, including scalping trading. In fact, many ECN, STP or hybrid brokers offer zero-pip forex spreads, though they may charge a fixed commission per lot.

Benefits Of ECN Brokers:

There are several advantages to trading with an ECN broker:

Drawbacks Of ECN Brokers

Downsides to trading with ECN brokers include:

How To Identify The Best ECN Brokers

The top true ECN brokers are regulated by reputable financial agencies. For example, if you’re trading forex in the UK, check the provider is regulated by the FCA. For traders in Europe, check for CySEC regulation. Reliable regulators will cap leverage limits to protect a trader’s risk exposure.

How to find an ECN broker

Logistically, location is significant as the best ECN brokers can only accept accounts for traders in the countries they work within. For example, RoboForex cannot accept traders in the USA, Japan, Canada and Australia, despite being a top ECN broker. This means clients from the US will need to look to another broker, such as Forex.com, another top ECN brokerage. Similarly, the best ECN brokers in Kenya, Dubai, Malaysia, Cyprus or the Philippines might differ from the top providers in Nigeria, South Africa, India, Australia and Singapore.

You should also check the trading fees and commissions and whether you are allowed to start with a demo account. This will give you time to practice and get familiar with the platform, whether you are using MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5), cTrader or another. Brokers offer different platforms so it’s important to use one you feel comfortable with.

Other considerations to take into account on your broker checklist comparison should include:

Final Word On ECN Brokers

ECN brokers bring significant benefits for forex traders in the US, UK and beyond. High levels of market transparency mean price manipulation is not possible. With that said, it’s still worth looking for regulated ECN brokers. Leverage levels, commissions, plus trading tools are also important to consider when opening a live account with an ECN broker.

FAQ

What Does An ECN Broker Mean?

An ECN broker is a technology hub, or bridge, that enables traders to place competing bids against each other or liquidity providers.

How Do ECN Brokers Make Money?

ECN brokers typically make money from fixed commissions charged to the customer on each trade. This is in contrast to market maker models that generally take their cut from the spread.

What Is The Difference Between A Market Maker And ECN Broker?

Market makers help ensure there’s enough liquidity so trades can be executed seamlessly. Market makers typically take the opposing side of a trade. In contrast, ECN brokers connect buyers and sellers, drawing on various liquidity providers. ECN brokers usually offer tighter spreads, faster order execution and increased transparency.

Who Are The Top ECN Brokers In The UK And Europe?

Among the top European ECN are Pepperstone, Axi, IG, Swissquote and FXCM. See our list of the best ECN brokers.

Is XM An ECN Broker Or STP?

XM is regulated by the FCA and offers both ECN and Straight Through Processing (STP) options. Which model you want to use will depend on your strategy, trading capital, position size and leverage requirements.