Slippage is a bum and few will understand just how damaging slippage can be. But I do. And I also understand it’s easy to blame slippage instead of accepting responsibility for one’s “poor” trade decisions. I trade down on ticks bro with MT4. In my experience, I’m more likely to actually get a point or 2 positive slippage under normal market conditions. Don’t worry but, I’ve also been hit with 20+ points negative. Slippage is, unfortunately, a self-fulfilling prophecy. When trading down at this level you want the market to have a bit of volatility. Unfortunately, when this occurs the price we see on our charts is long gone by the time we place our trade. Timing is everything. We alone are responsible for when we decide to enter a trade.
I also have a relationship with a prop firm who trade with IC Markets. By using them as my IB I get 25% off my commissions. Also, means I have a different server to log into. So there is every chance I have a different data feed to many. Corner-store retail brokers have different servers for different books. ECN or not.
But as you rightly said, these things can not be determined on a demo account. Only by trading live can one evaluate if a brokers offering is suited to the individuals needs. But not everyone has the $1000’s needed to open accounts with various brokers, so sometimes demo is the best one has.
Now, if I was a broker, and I was running a comp to market my firm, I would ensure the entrants had access to the best data feed possible. IF the data feed to the comp server is the best Vantage has got then not impressed. Way too unstable, way too filtered.
And they apply other marketing methods, like offering these “smart” tools. Only one smart tool any of us needs and that sits on our shoulders.