Compare the best STP brokers in 2022
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This page picks out the best forex brokers that use STP technology and compares them to help you decide which one to use. Learn about the key features of each platform and assess the benefits versus the risks of signing up.
What are the best STP brokers?
Our forex experts have ranked the leading STP brokers and you can sign up to any of them through the links in the table below. Keep reading for more information on why each one made the cut.
Top STP brokers
1. Admirals: Best overall STP broker
Admirals offers the best balance between trading experience and access to the interbank market. It lets you trade micro lots – 1,000 units of a base currency – using STP technology, whereas most platforms have a minimum lot size of 100,000 units.
There are no hidden fees and you can access plenty of educational material as well as advanced trading and analysis tools. That means there’s something for the experienced trader as well as for anyone who’s still learning.
2. Longhorn FX: Best for high leverage trading
Longhorn FX has plenty to offer traders that like to use leverage. It lets you trade with up to 1:500 leverage through the MT4 platform and combines ECN and STP technology to offer low spreads by routing trades to its liquidity providers.
3. InstaForex: Best STP broker for exotic currencies
InstaForex has a huge range of currencies available to trade. You can take advantage of STP technology on all the major and minor currency pairs, along with exotics that include the South African Rand, Mexican Peso, Hong Kong Dollar, and many others.
4. Saxo Markets: Best for institutional traders
Saxo offers some STP services as part of an institutional account for small to medium sized firms. Their FX prime brokerage account gives access to top tier liquidity providers and optimises the spreads to provide competitive pricing.
What is an STP broker?
STP platforms are a type of no dealing desk forex broker that sends trades automatically to the market. This is in contrast to a dealing desk, which is a ‘market maker’ that takes the other side of a trade itself rather than passing the order on.
It’s difficult to be certain about what type of broker a platform is. Few platforms are explicitly clear about their service and you can have hybrids; brokers that have a dealing desk but also operate some form of electronic network or straight through processing technology.
There are a few clues that can help differentiate them. No dealing desk brokers that use STP often have better prices but larger spreads, as you’re interacting with the forex market directly. Market makers have smaller spreads but can restrict trading during high volatility, as they set the prices and take the trades.
How do STP brokers work?
STP brokers send trade orders directly to the interbank market without routing them through a market maker first. This gives traders that use this type of broker access to the rates that banks and other financial institutions get when they trade currencies among themselves.
The two big advantages of an STP broker are speed and price. Your trades are sent straight to the market (hence the name ‘Straight Through Processing’) rather than going through a middleman, and that same lack of an intermediary means there is no one taking a cut of the potential profit.
Should I use an STP broker?
It’s a great option if you’re experienced and know what you’re doing. The decentralised nature of the forex market lends itself to choosing an STP or an ECN broker instead of a market maker. The prices are better and there is no danger of the broker restricting trading.
However, the flip side is that there are far fewer protections. The spreads are higher as the prices are more volatile, which means there might be a significant difference between the buy and sell price for a currency. You normally also have to navigate a more complex trading interface, rather than the simplified ones provided by market makers that target the casual trader.
For any new trader, a market maker is the best option. They are normally the forex brokers with demo accounts so that you can practice first and then the real thing has fewer risks than with an STP broker. For more advanced traders with lots of volume, an STP or ECN broker is an excellent choice.
What are the risks of using STP brokers?
The biggest risk is that you can lose money. The risks are heightened with this type of broker compared to a market maker because the minimum lot (i.e. the trade size) is higher, so you have to place larger trades.
The fact that you deal direct with the market means that prices can swing much faster and the spreads are higher. The combination of those two factors can leave you with currencies that you can only sell at a significant loss.
Here are some of the benefits versus the risks of using an STP broker.
- Faster trades reduces the chance of slippage
- Accurate price quotes
- STP brokers act for you, rather than profit from you as many market makers do
- STP lot sizes are normally lower than ECN brokers
What are the fees for using an STP broker?
The fees can either be a commission or a markup on the currency prices. Commissions can be charged as a percentage of total trading volume over a period of time, such as a month. Markups are simply an addition to the price that’s charged by the market and are the primary reason why forex brokers charge different prices.
Methodology: How did we choose the best STP brokers?
We use every broker and perform a series of tests to assess the service. These tests include setting up an account, making a deposit, and placing a trade. Additionally, to compile this page we looked through each broker’s legal and supporting documentation to ensure that they offer Straight Through Processing technology in some form.
The results from the test are combined with online research and customer reviews to create a final ranking. We also consider any sign up bonuses or other additional features, such as how well their customer service department performed in response to a series of questions.
Our review process ensures that no platform has the ability to influence the content on this page in any way. We may earn money through partner affiliations if you sign up to a platform after following a link on this page.
ECN brokers are cheaper to trade with because they can offer tighter spreads. STPs offer direct access to the market and often have better prices. It depends whether you want the added protection of the spreads or prefer untouched access to the market rate.
Yes, although functionality will be more limited. It’s great for while you’re out and about, however to get the best out of them you’ll need to use the desktop version. You can learn more about the best forex apps here.
Our editors fact-check all content to ensure compliance with our strict editorial policy. The information in this article is supported by the following reliable sources.
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