IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. It is an application layer protocol that facilitates you to communicate in the form of text. This chat process works on a client/server networking model. IRC clients are basically computer programs which a user can install on their system. These clients can communicate with chat servers and transfer messages to other clients. IRC is primarily designed for group communication for discussion forums & it is called channels. However, it also offers you one-on-one communication through not only by private messages but also by chat and data transfer and it also includes file sharing.
For every major operating system, Client software is available here. It supports the Internet access. From April 2011, its top 100 IRC networks have served more than half a million users at a time, with hundreds of thousands of channels. It is operating around 1,500 servers out of around 3,200 servers worldwide, which is great. However, over the past decade, IRC usage has been declining. And since 2003 it has lost 60% of its users, which means from 1 million to about 400,000 in 2014.
IRC was designed by Jarkko Oikarinen in August 1988. It was created to replace a program called MUT (MultiUser Talk) on a BBS called OuluBox in Finland. Oikarinen found inspiration in a chat system known as Bitnet Relay, which operated on the BITNET.
IRC was used to report on the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt throughout a media blackout. It was previously used in a similar fashion during the Gulf War. Chat Logs of these and other events are kept in the ibiblio archive.
The basic means of communicating to a group of users means to establish IRC session through a channel. Channels on a network can be displayed by using the IRC Command List. These lists are all currently available on channels which do not have the modes +s or +p set, on that particular network. Users can join to a channel by using the JOIN command. The messages which are sent through the joined channels are relayed to all other users too. Channels which are available across an entire IRC network that are prefixed with a ‘#'. Though those who are local to a server using ‘&' and Other less common channel types which include ‘+'.
The most popular clients are MIRC for the Windows operating system, IRCLL for UNIX, and IRCLE for Macintosh. A good internet provider is supposed to install one of these on user's computer, if not then a user can download them by him for free of cost. Networks, servers and channels once a user set up with an internet provider and a client, he is able to control his connections. Next, a user needs to choose a username, he wishes to be known by to others, then he needs to connect to an IRC network present in a different location. The largest network has various people online. These people create thousands of channels, sometimes called chat rooms where people chat with each other live. A user may join these channels and participate in the group discussion, or he may select to chat quietly with an individual. It is basically a way of communication in the form of text.
Connecting to an IRC Network
If you are new to mIRC, then you will be able to find a guide to getting started here. This guide introduces you to the basics of mIRC and IRC. It also includes the guidelines of how to connect an IRC network and join a channel and send your first message. If you have already installed mIRC then by clicking on chat links you can also connect to a network.
Now let’s see how a user can host IRC server. For doing this first of all he requires a speedy internet connection. If a user plans on setting up a reliable & fast IRC network for his own organization or for business needs, he needs to consider buying a dedicated server from a reliable hosting company. A user can also subscribe to a high-speed business class bandwidth provider or else a broadband connection is a minimum requirement. Commonly shared hosts will not allow a user to run IRC servers for most of the time. This is because they are prone to Dos & DDoS attacks and a shared server is just not designed well to host a reliable IRC server. There are few server host providers who claim to do this but before going to buy their services, an individual should do proper research on the internet.
Choose between IRC domain & IP address
After this next is a confusion to choose in between IRC domain address or IP address. After a user worked out hardware and connection details for setting up his own IRC Server, the last thing he might want to consider is DNS and how he wants to connect with others to his IRC server network. If he just wants to use the IP Address, then he does not need to do anything extra. If he thinks to convert his IP Address into a subdomain then he has to do few things to get it work properly. It is easy to make a subdomain into an IRC server address in a few steps. There is a link, whenever a user wants to do it, he needs to copy that link, which he will get easier when he searches for it on the internet.
IRC Networks and Servers
mIRC is basically the client of IRC. It can be used to chat with other people on IRC networks all over the world. For using mIRC, you need to connect to an IRC network. An IRC network is made up of one or more IRC servers, and these servers are all connected to each other. If you connect to any of the servers on a particular network, then you will be able to see the same channels and people. IRC networks are run, owned and created by thousands of independent organizations and individuals all around the world.