IRC Networks and Server Lists
By PhyberBX, Apatrix, and Jolo
Original version at http://www.irchelp.org/irchelp/networks/, please do not mirror or distribute.
This site highlights just some of the over 800 independent IRC networks out there, each with its own channels and people. We do not seek to be comprehensive, that would be overwhelming for us to maintain and for you to read through. Instead, we hope to give people some suggestions to start, as well as to equip them with the knowledge of how to find other places on their own.
New to IRC? Confused about clients, servers, and networks? See this short introduction to IRC. If you already know the name of the network and you're just looking for servers within that network, see our comprehensive list of servers such as for [EFnet](servers/efnet.html), [Undernet](http://servers.undernet.org/), [IRCnet](servers/ircnet.html), [DALnet](servers/dalnet.html), and several dozen [others](servers/index.html). If you're having trouble connecting esp. to EFnet, see our [IRC Connection Problems Guide](connectprob.html).
Browsing for a new network to explore? Want to compare the policies or characteristics of different networks? Look over our list of IRC networks, organized into the following 5 groups:
- Popular nets. At over 10,000 users each, these nets account for a majority of IRC users (about 2/3). Tend to be plagued by lag, splits, spam and general stupidity, but for most people, nets like these are ‘the place to be’ for finding people, illegal files, etc.
- General nets: This is the broadest category, selected from hundreds of general chat networks with hundreds to thousands of people. Compared to the popular nets above, nets like these can be just as fun but a lot less frustrating.
- Subject nets: Some groups of people have set up their own networks, dedicated to their cause, subject of interest or serving a particular social group. Many of these subjects are covered by channels on the popular nets, but these nets offer a calm, dedicated alternative.
- Local nets: These nets allow local server connections, especially useful in areas with bad network connectivity, offer an environment where the local language is predominant in the case of non-English speaking countries and, of course, will be a place for discussing topics of local interest.
Having trouble connecting to a specific network? The IRC Connection Problems Guide covers the most common problems, with emphasis on EFnet. The DALnet Refugee Guide is designed to answer FAQs from DALnet users moving to other networks. If you’re just looking for the network’s home page or server list, the following multi-network sites might help too.
Multi-network IRC server/channel lists
There are several sites which provide huge lists of servers or channels that you can search, including SearchIRC.com and Netsplit.de. You can compare different networks by statistics such as number of users or channels, or you can search for channels across all networks using keywords. These sites break down the traditional barriers between networks and let you find what you’re looking for quickly and easily.
Depictions of the geographic locations of servers and how they are linked up to form various IRC networks.
- Graphical map of EFnet server links
- Text map of EFnet server links
- IRCnet server maps for Europe and N. America
Application instructions for opers/admins to add their network to these lists. Updates for existing entries are also welcome.
Some other networks-related pages:
- EFnet Spamtrap FAQ - A guide to EFNet’s “spamtrap” spam-control system for end users.
- DALnet Troubleshooting Guide - the latest news on DALnet’s woes.
- DALnet Refugee Guide - moving from DALnet to another net? This short guide covers the key differences you’ll need to know.
- Why don’t you support registration for channel/nicks? - a detailed explanation of why we’re not all DALnet.
- Is EFnet dying? - a little rant about the rumored demise of EFnet
Note: Feel free to link to any of these pages, but no part of these documents may be mirrored or distributed in any form, either partly or in whole. Comments and critiques are based on our personal views and are not necessarily shared or condoned by the maintainers and owners of this site.