Whether you are connecting to IRC for the first time or as a seasoned user, the features you want your client to have will vary from person to person. We hope this page will help new users make a good choice from the start.
Once you have chosen a client to use, please refer to our repository of instructions for setting up SASL, which is our preferred authentication method.
If you’re interested in ensuring the security of your connection, please refer to our connection guide.
Connecting without installing anything
If you cannot install apps on your computer, you can use a web app.
Our webchat is a free web client that you don’t have to sign up for.
IRCCloud is a popular service that keeps you connected after you close the page and has a limited free plan. tilde.chat is available as a pre-configured network on IRCCloud.
Installing a client
There are three main types of clients for connecting to IRC. These are “graphical clients”, “terminal clients” and “bouncers”.
These are clients that you navigate primarily with your mouse cursor or touch. They can be installed on your device directly or accessed in a web browser.
Some commonly chosen graphical clients for personal computers are Hexchat (Windows, Linux), Konversation (Windows, Linux, Mac OS) and Textual (MacOS).
On Android phones & tablets, RevolutionIRC is a popular client available from F-Droid and Google Play.
On Apple iOS devices LimeChat is a popular client available from the App Store.
Terminal or text based clients are clients which you primarily navigate with keyboard shortcuts. As these typically do not need mouse navigation, they are great for running on servers and accessing remotely.
WeeChat is a popular terminal client which has an experimental mouse mode option which makes some operations possible with your mouse.
Irssi is another popular and mature terminal client.
Bouncers are clients which act as a hub between other clients and the IRC network. They allow you to see one connection from multiple places (i.e. phone, work computer, home computer).
ZNC is a popular stand-alone bouncer.
Some other clients have bouncers built in to them but it is not their main purpose. These include Quassel, WeeChat, and Irssi.