Saturday, October 9, 2010

Comparison of IRC Clients

Alright, so today, I figured I'd talk about different IRC clients. There are TONS, of different clients, and if you include bots, then there are even more!

First, I'd like to comment on the image above. This is an image screen capped of my desktop, it's 2 sessions of irssi running, my favorite client over any of them.

So, first what is IRC? IRC, stands for Internet Relay Chat. It was fairly popular in the 90's, and is still popular today. For a fun fact, a lot VPS providers don't like people running IRC, because they attract DDoS attacks.

Moving on, we'll start with mIRC, a client for Windows created in the 90's, and is still being developed today. Has very powerful scripting features, and is very user friendly. Some people actually go as far as making bots with the scripting, and widgets and some other things too. Personally, I've used mIRC years back, and even made some of my own scripts for it, but it's an overhyped client to be honest.

Next, we have XChat, I'll recommend this one, since it's open source, and has a really cool interface. In addition, it has perl and python scripting. Anyone who has used mIRC, could probably easily adapt to XChat, since they are similar in layout. XChat is also cross platform, meaning it will work on Windows and Linux, and I believe there is a separate fork of XChat, called XChat Aqua for OS X.

Now, for my favorite, irssi. This is a CLI based client, making it very convenient to access irc servers remotely (for example if you have ssh access to a linux server). Another plus, is that it's open source as well, and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It also has perl scripting, and themes (though I've never bothered with themes), so, it is VERY customisable. Plus, it's a very nice client to have if an ircop decided to loloperabuse for example, and SAJOINED you to 300 channels, you can issue '/wc x y' , to leave the channels, instead of restarting your client, or closing them manually. It even supports multiple servers so this is another cool feat. Overall, I would recommend this client to everyone :)

Alright , so BitchX, is another CLI based client, it's similar to irssi in it's look, however they're slightly different. I haven't used BitchX all that much, and it's been a while since I last used it, but, all I can really say is that it has TCL scripting.

Next is Colloquy, right off the bat, I'm going to say that I've never used it, nor will I EVER use it, since it's for OS X/Apple devices (Yeah, you can call me biased, I don't care, I fucking hate Apple). On the plus side, it IS open source, it has scripting of some sort, and you can use it on iphones/ipod touches, which is good for people who want to irc on an iphone/ipad.

Another growing client, is Mibbit. I can't tell you much since I don't really use it, or NEED to use it, but it's a web based one that uses ajax....... That's about all I know. I guess it's good for using at school/work/library or if you want to go on irc from a computer where you don't want to install a client.

Icechat is another Windows client that looks similar to mIRC, is VERY user friendly, supports multiple servers, and has a scripting engine of some sort. I know a few people that use it, and they seem to like it over any other client. Personally, it's not for me, since I like CLI based stuff in general.

A lot of multi-im software such as pidgin, trillian, have irc clients built into them. Also, firefox has an addon called chatzilla, and opera has a built in one. Again, I haven't looked into them that much, but they will lack most features that a stand-alone client likely has.

Anyway, there are more clients, but those are the most commonly used ones.

Once you have a client, feel free to check out our network over at, and if you need any help, you can contact one of the ircops (irc operators), who include me (rayZor_), Courtney, NekoArc, NOXOiD, and there's probably a few others, but I'm too lazy to go look at who they are :P


  1. damn i wish i had more knowledge bout this

  2. I'd go with mibbit. I'm in your channel right now :P

  3. Big fan of the mibbit, makes it easy for a IRC newbie like me.

  4. really helpful i just started using IRC

  5. I use Mibbit right now. But XChat is awesome and I remember the good old BitchX days ! Amazing text-only client :)

  6. This is helpful, I might start using IRC now!

  7. Been using mIRC like forever, maybe time to start using something else!

  8. I personally use a webclient. It's easier than needing to set it up.

  9. thanks man. I been scared to use IRC cause I don't know how to work it... derrr