IRC Clients

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An IRC Client allows a user to connect to various Internet Relay Chat networks, servers, and channels.


  • Webchat is a web-based IRC client for Freenode. It allows you to access Freenode servers through your standard web browser.
  • This link will take you directly to the IRC Channel. You should right-click and open the link in a new window or tab. This will allow you to continue browsing within this window or tab while still being able to monitor the channel in another.
  • You will be asked for a nickname - this must be unique on the Freenode network. We recommend your amateur callsign.
  • The webchat client is convenient, but somewhat less reliable as it involves additional systems. We recommend using a standalone client where possible.
  • Webchat utilizes AJAX. While the technical details of AJAX are beyond the scope of this page, you should know that AJAX requires your browser to frequently request data from the webchat server. This transaction requires significantly more computer resources (processor cycles and memory) than a stand-alone IRC client.

Stand-alone IRC clients

While the Webchat client works very well, it does have some shortcomings. We recommend that you choose a stand-alone IRC client, and configure it to automatically sign in when your computer starts.

Computer clients

  • Pidgin - a multi-function client that handles all the major IM networks as well as IRC
  • irssi - an excellent, command-line client for *nix systems.
  • Chatzilla - a plugin for Firefox and other Mozilla-based web browsers. Like webchat, it utilizes your web browser. Unlike webchat, it connects to the IRC servers directly, rather than through a web server that may be shared with thousands of other users.
  • Mirc
  • X-chat

Android clients

  • YAAIC - Yet Another Android IRC Client