Internet Relay Chat (IRC) started already a long time ago and is one of the first chat programs. Now there are already many chat programs such as Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Yahoo!, AIM, ICQ and Google Chat and that makes IRC unknown. With the IRC-client you can connect to different ICR-servers which are available on the internet and once connected you can chat with other users on the IRC-server.
IRC-servers are connected to each other to make it a complete network. This makes it possible to chat with a user of one server to a user of another server. Some of those networks are EFnet, IRCnet and DALnet. In the younger years of the IRC, when there were not so many chat programs, many users using the IRC at the same time. IRC is an open protocol, which means that every programmer can write his own IRC client or IRC server.
IRC has different channel which can be compared with a room, if a user is leaving a message in that channel other users can read it and reply to that message. It’s also possible to connect to different rooms at the same time. mIRC opens a channel in a separate window. so the user has an overview of the channels in separate windows. Each channel has its own name starting with #, such as #movies, #news or # sports.
IRC channels are managed by channel operators, they control the channel and can block (kick) users if they don’t behave. After a while they can enter the channel again but if they continue misbehave they will be banned. They are not able to enter the channel anymore. But still its possible for banned people to enter the channel when they change the IP address.
Popular IRC networks
- DALnet (irc.dal.net).
- QuakeNet (irc.quakenet.org).
- EFNet (irc.efnet.org).
- Freenode (irc.freenode.net).
Popular IRC clients
- mIRC forWindows.
- BitchX for Linux console.
- Ircle for Macintosh.
- XChat forMac OSX, Linux en Windows.
- Konversation (KDE).
- Trillian is for many different operating systems.
- pIRCh for Windows.