By Jeffrey Cammack Updated: May 29, 2020

ECN (Electronic Communication Network) Forex brokers are popular because they offer direct market access and low trading costs. Because ECN brokers provide traders with direct market access, they avoid the conflict of interest inherent with market maker brokers.

ECN brokers use the lighting-fast FIX protocol to identify available pools of liquidity in the market, thus reducing trading costs and slippage. Some brokers, however, will offer an ECN account option alongside other STP or market maker accounts.

As there is no single best ECN broker for every trader, we have highlighted the best overall ECN broker while featuring brokers that excel because of their regulation, wide platform support, educational material, or excellent trading conditions.

These are the best ECN Forex brokers in Australia, compared by trust, reputation, platform support and trading conditions.

By Jeffrey Cammack Updated: May 29, 2020
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  • Broker
    FP Markets

    FP Markets  - Best ECN Broker

    REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    CySEC CySEC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    AUD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    • IRESS
    Trading Instruments
    • Commodities
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Indicies
    • Metals
    • Equities
    Deposit Methods
    • Bank Transfer
    • Visa
    • Mastercard
    • Paypal
    • Skrill
    • Neteller
    • Fasapay
    • BPay
    • paytrust88
    • POLi
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard IRESSN/A pips$10 AUD min, then 0.1%STPAUD 1,000 Account Details
    Platinum IRESSN/A pips$9 AUD min, then 0.09%STPAUD 25,000 Account Details
    Premier IRESSN/A pipsNo min, then 0.08%STPAUD 50,000 Account Details
    RAW0.0 pips$3.50STPAUD 100 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneSTPAUD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    IC Markets

    IC Markets  - Most Trusted Broker

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    AUD 200
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    • cTrader
    Trading Instruments
    • Commodities
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Indicies
    • Equities
    • Bonds
    • Futures
    Deposit Methods
    • Bank Transfer
    • Visa
    • Mastercard
    • Skrill
    • Neteller
    • Paypal
    • Unionpay
    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
    HotForex

    HotForex  - Best Trading Conditions

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSCA FSCA
    DFSA DFSA
    FSC FSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 5
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    Trading Instruments
    • Commodities
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Indicies
    • Metals
    • Equities
    • Energies
    • Bonds
    Deposit Methods
    • Bank Transfer
    • Visa
    • Mastercard
    • Skrill
    • Neteller
    • Bitcoin
    • VLOAD
    • Unionpay
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Micro1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 5 Account Details
    Islamic1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Premium1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Auto1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
    Zero0.0 pips$3.00MarketUSD 200 Account Details
    HFCopy1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 300 Account Details
    Premium Pro1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 5000 Account Details
  • Broker
    Admiral Markets

    Admiral Markets  - Best Trading Platforms

    REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    AUD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    • MT Supreme
    Trading Instruments
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Indicies
    • Metals
    • Equities
    • Bonds
    • WTIs
    Deposit Methods
    • Visa
    • Mastercard
    • Skrill
    • Neteller
    • POLi
    • Bitcoin
    • Bank Transfer
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Trade.MT40.5 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Trade.MT50.5 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Zero.MT40.0 pips$1.8-$3.0MarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Zero.MT50.0 pips$1.8-$3.0MarketUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    Pepperstone

    Pepperstone  - Best Overall Broker

    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    AUD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    • cTrader
    Trading Instruments
    • Commodities
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Indicies
    • Metals
    • Energies
    Deposit Methods
    • Bank Transfer
    • Visa
    • Mastercard
    • Skrill
    • Paypal
    • Unionpay
    • POLi
    • BPay
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Razor0.0 pipsAUD$ 7ECNUSD 200 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneECNUSD 200 Account Details
    Swap-free1.0 pipsNoneECNUSD 200 Account Details
  • Broker
    Axitrader

    Axitrader  - Best Research

    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    DFSA DFSA
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 5
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    Trading Instruments
    • Commodities
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Indicies
    • Metals
    • WTIs
    Deposit Methods
    • Visa
    • Mastercard
    • Maestro
    • Skrill
    • Neteller
    • Bank Transfer
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    MT4 Pro Account0.1 pips$7MarketUSD 5 Account Details
    MT4 Standard Account1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 5 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 50
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    • cTrader
    Trading Instruments
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Indicies
    • Metals
    Deposit Methods
    • Visa
    • Skrill
    • Neteller
    • Bitcoin
    • Fasapay
    • Bank Transfer
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    cTrader ECN pips$3.00MarketUSD 100 Account Details
    MT4 Micro0.4 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    MT5 Pro0.2 pipsNoneMarketUSD 500 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    Trading Instruments
    • Commodities
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Indicies
    • Equities
    • Futures
    Deposit Methods
    • Bank Transfer
    • Visa
    • Mastercard
    • Maestro
    • Skrill
    • Neteller
    • Unionpay
    • Fasapay
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Live Fixed Spread2.2 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Live Floating Spread1.1 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Live Zero Spread0.0 pips$18InstantUSD 500 Account Details
    STP/ECN No Commission1.7 pipsNoneECN/STPUSD 500 Account Details
    STP/ECN Zero Spread0.0 pips$7.50ECN/STPUSD 500 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    DFSA DFSA
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 200
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    Trading Instruments
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Indicies
    • Metals
    • Equities
    • WTIs
    Deposit Methods
    • Bank Transfer
    • Visa
    • Mastercard
    • Skrill
    • Neteller
    • Fasapay
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Classic1.4 pipsNoneMarketUSD 50 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    IFSC IFSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 1
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    Trading Instruments
    • Commodities
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Metals
    • Equities
    Deposit Methods
    • Visa
    • Neteller
    • Unionpay
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Cent1.0 pipsNoneSTPUSD 1 Account Details
    Islamic0.0 pipsNoneSTPUSD 1 Account Details
    Micro3.0 pipsNoneSTPUSD 5 Account Details
    Standard0.5 pipsNoneSTPUSD 100 Account Details
    Zero Spread0.0 pips$20STPUSD 500 Account Details
    ECN0.0 pipsNoneECNUSD 1000 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    Trading Instruments
    • Commodities
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Indicies
    • Equities
    • ETFs
    Deposit Methods
    • Bank Transfer
    • Visa
    • Mastercard
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Advanced Account1.4 pipsNoneSTPUSD 100 Account Details
    Copy Trading1.4 pipsNoneSTPUSD 500 Account Details
    Pro Account1.0 pipsNoneSTPUSD 5000 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    AUD 200
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    Trading Instruments
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Indicies
    • Metals
    • Equities
    • WTIs
    Deposit Methods
    • Bank Transfer
    • Visa
    • Mastercard
    • Skrill
    • Neteller
    • Fasapay
    • BPay
    • POLi
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
    GoPlus+0.0 pips$3.00MarketUSD 500 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSCA FSCA
    FSC FSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    AUD 10
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    Trading Instruments
    • Commodities
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Forex
    • Indicies
    • Metals
    • Equities
    Deposit Methods
    • Bank Transfer
    • Visa
    • Mastercard
    • Maestro
    • Skrill
    • Neteller
    • Bitcoin
    • Unionpay
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Cent Account1.5 pipsNoneInstantUSD 10 Account Details
    Standard Account1.3 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    ECN Zero Account1.5 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
    ECN Account0.1 pips$2.00MarketUSD 500 Account Details
    FXTM Pro Account0.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 25000 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 300
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • Sirix
    Trading Instruments
    • Commodities
    • Forex
    • Equities
    Deposit Methods
    • Bank Transfer
    • Mastercard
    • Skrill
    • Neteller
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    InstitutionalNot Published pipsNot PublishedMarket Volume Based Account Details
    Basic2.4 pipsNoneMarketUSD 500 Account Details
    Standard1.4 pipsNoneMarketUSD 5000 Account Details
    Advanced Mark-Up1.1 pipsNoneMarketUSD 10000 Account Details
    Advanced RAW0.0 pips$5.50MarketUSD 10000 Account Details
    Premium Mark-up0.8 pipsNoneMarketUSD 50000 Account Details
    Premium RAW0.0 pips$4.00MarketUSD 50000 Account Details

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All Forex Brokers in Australia

What is an ECN Broker?

An ECN broker offers traders direct access to the Forex market using a network of liquidity providers to play counterparty to their clients’ trades. ECN brokers often have numerous liquidity providers, meaning that extremely competitive pricing can be found.

As all trades that are put through an ECN broker are posted directly to market, spreads are generally very tight – often down to 0 pips at times of high volatility. For this reason, ECN brokers will also charge a commission, this is their fee for playing matchmaker and finding a counterparty to your trade.

One common issue with ECN brokers is slippage and requotes. Because ECN brokers rely on external liquidity to match your trade, trades are not always posted instantly. This is usually an issue at times of high volatility, usually after a large event or data release.  This also means that the market can move past your stop-loss orders, and your losses can far exceed what you expect.

The last thing to be aware of with ECN brokers is that they generally require a larger minimum deposit.

ECN Brokers vs Market Maker Brokers

In contrast to ECN brokers, a market maker Forex broker always plays counterparty to your trade and always acts as the market with all clients – hence the name. Market makers are also known as dealing desk brokers, as all trades will be filled at the rates set by the broker’s internal dealing desk.  This business model, which means a market maker will always profit from their clients’ losses, generates an inherent conflict of interest which many traders are cautious of.

Currently, most well-regulated market makers are well regarded in the industry, despite the conflict of interest, and they go to great lengths to ensure their clients are not being unfairly treated.

But, regardless, a market maker broker is not a desirable choice for an experienced Forex trader. Even if they are honest, you will be limited to trading with one counterparty who is always trading against you and never on the open market with dynamic spreads.

That said, if you do want instant execution of your trades and you don’t want to pay a commission, a trusted market maker is not a terrible idea.

ECN Broker or ECN/STP Broker?

Another acronym you will often see in combination with ECN is STP (as in ECN/STP). STP is the method of the transaction – with STP your order is sent directly to the counterparty through the Financial Information Exchange (FIX) protocol. The FIX protocol decreases trade execution time, reduces slippage and ensures that traders get the best available pricing.

The STP protocol can be used by market-maker brokers as well as ECN brokers, and some brokers use a hybrid formula, where they will sometimes be the counterparty, and other times use an external liquidity provider. While this does lead to less slippage, it does return us back to the problem of conflict of interest.

In most cases choosing a hybrid broker is the best way to go, as they will give you the most options.

Should I trade with an ECN Broker?

ECN brokers do not have the conflict of interest you find at market makers and spreads are much tighter, but there are slippage-related trading risks and you will always pay commission on your trades. There is also the matter of the higher minimum deposit.

Are ECN brokers better than market maker? I don’t think that’s correct. All the brokers we work with are trusted and well-regulated and I believe the answer to this question is always down to personal preference. My own belief is that ECN brokers are better for more experienced traders, who are confident enough in their own skills to risk more capital and are happy to pay commission, and market maker brokers are better for beginners who don’t want to risk too much when they are still learning.

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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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