What is an Internet Relay Chat (IRC)?

Internet Relay Chat is a well-known means of communication that allows you to exchange text messages with people all over the world.

Internet Relay Chat: Definition

The term IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, refers to a chat system that allows (unknown) people to communicate with each other almost in real time. IRC users connect to one of the many networks present and enter one or more of the channels contained, choosing whether to send text messages to everyone present or start a conversation with a single person with the query mode .

It is important to know that each channel is defined by a specific theme and users have the possibility to create their own channel. Among the most popular IRC rooms of the “Libera.Chat” network in 2021 we find, for example, “#linux”, in which users discuss the Linux operating system, or “#python”, centered precisely on the language of the same name. programming. IRC is used by both individual users and companies as it greatly simplifies message communication.

How do you set up IRC?

To create an Internet Relay Chat it is necessary to have an IRC client , that is a chat program, to be installed on a local computer or to be used as a web component of a browser or on a third party server, in other words: a web chat.

We have created for you a guide that explains how to install an IRC client in a few simple steps, how to connect to an IRC server and how to finally access Internet Relay Chat.

Select the IRC client

In the priority list, the first thing to do is to choose an IRC client. The choice between the different options depends on the operating system. Most clients are free software that already have multiple IRC networks in which to communicate with other users. Among the best known IRC clients for Windows and Linux we find, for example, HexChat and Pidgin.

Download and install

Once you have chosen the right IRC client for your operating system, the next step is to download and install the program. To do this, we recommend that you use the official website for downloading the client involved. Once the installation process is complete, the IRC client icon should be visible on your desktop. If not, you can search for it in your computer programs.

The list of networks

Once you open your IRC client in the next step, a small window will appear with a list of networks. Here, at the top, under “User Information” you will have to enter a nickname , ie a name to be used later when you enter the IRC channels. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can choose a name that does not refer to their identity.

Finally, under “Networks”, select the network you want to connect to. There is also the option to create your own IRC chat , which will be offered to you in the same list. Once you have chosen and selected the network, click on “Connect” in the lower right window to start a connection.

The chat program

If you have performed the previous steps correctly, the chat program should open and another window confirming that the connection was successful. This will also give you the option to join a selected channel on the network. In case you don’t have the exact name of a channel in mind, you can instead request the channel list, which will show you all the available ones. After choosing the one that’s right for you, click on “OK” at the bottom right to finish the configuration procedure of your IRC.