Well hello newbie! Welcome to the crazy world of forex. Good question, and it gets asked a lot. Apart from many other things, charts are vital to your success in forex. I personally find the Metatrader 4 (you can put the metatrader quotes into your browser) the best. Also if you just want basic historic charts for specific news announcements, you can look at the forexbastards news calendar.
This is just my opinion on what has worked best for me.
This is copied from my reply to FXHalo
I pay for my charts. (Intellicharts)
People rave on about Metatrader but I can't stand it and only use it for COT data.
There are 4 reasons for this:
1. The price shown on Metatrader is always at least 2 pips out from the price shown on EFX (I use EFX as a broker)
2. Visually Metatraders candles are very scattered and gappy whereas the Intellichart candles move seamlessly from one candle to the next.
3. The candle formation on Metatrader can be vastly different from Intellichart. A perfect hammer setup on Intellichart can look just like an ordinary candle on Metatrader hence you miss the opportunity.
An example was a short trade I did a while back which went in my favour from the weeks start to finish.
The weekly chart on Metatrader showed the previous weeks candle (which was up) and the weekly candle where I started my trade as nothing special, however Intellichart showed that both candles formed tweezer tops (a good signal of a trend reversal) which had followed a steady up trend.
Because of this I had a pretty good idea that the trend was going to change so I could leave the trade open. In the end the currency pair steadily fell over the next month.
If I was using Metatrader I would be fretting about my trade reversing on me due to the insignificant signal it showed.
4. Metatrader has no 45min timeframe which is vital to me to confirm trading decisions and track/manage my trades.
Personally, i use Metatrader4. I like the platform, and the charts. My broker uses MT for their platform so my price feed and charting system are always in sync. I used to use intellicharts as well and i constantly had data feed descrepencies between my broker and the intellicharts. If there was anything i would actually recomend to anyone it would be, no matter what system you use, make sure your datafeed is in sync with your brokers, if not you will always have that additional question in the back of your mind "which one is correct?" MT works good for me and the systems i trade, it may not meet the requirements of systems that you trade. MT has made a TON of improvements over earlier versions btw.
But I think it will depend also on your needs, example, some platform may have certain indicators or you can create by yourself while others not, some software which have different feeding data may have different indicator values with your broker, some software offering performance back test and optimization, some required separate feeding data ( with monthly cost) others not.
Frankly, I like MT4 with a lot of indicators which may be inline with your trading strategy, automatic trading capability, etc. The problem is only the spread and OHLC values which different with my broker. Some broker who offered MT4 as trading platform sometime having bigger spread:unhappy:.