Popular IRC Networks

Selected Networks with 10,000+ Users

updated October 2021

This page is part of the http://www.irchelp.org/irchelp/networks/, please do not mirror or distribute.

We highlight here some popular networks with average user counts of 10,000 to 170,000 and up. These nets tend to have the largest, busiest channels. For example, some channels have over 2000 people, so just one channel like that has more people than 97% of the 800+ networks out there!

Size isn’t everything, though. These nets have lots of fun chat but also an abundance of the “dark side” of IRC: illegal file trading, lag, splits, ad spams, pornography, trojan/virus infections, denial of service attacks, etc. It’s no wonder then that many experienced IRC users prefer other alternatives, such as smaller nets that still have lots of people but far fewer problems, or nets devoted to specific subjects or geographical areas / languages.

The popular nets are listed alphabetically with no regard to size. All links take you away to pages hosted by that network or to the 3rd party statistics site netsplit.de, which hosts comprehensive, opt-in network lists such as the top charts. Another similar site is SearchIRC. Our purpose is just to get you going by providing important links and information for some selected nets, so that you can quickly compare them or get their home page, server list, etc. Some information is quoted directly “like this” from the net’s own site.

The following networks are highlighted below: DALnet, EFNet, GeekShed, IRCnet, Libera.Chat, OFTC, QuakeNet, Rizon, Undernet

DALnet 📎

Webchat: http://www.dal.net:9090/
Services: nickserv, chanserv
Support Channels: #help
Servers: https://www.dal.net/servers/
Servers: irc.dal.net, ix.dal.net, pool.dal.net, underworld.se.eu.dal.net
Statistic: https://netsplit.de/networks/statistics.php?net=DALnet
Started in 1994 as an alternative to the overburdened networks of the time, DALnet has grown into a vibrant community and is widely regarded as the most “friendly” of the major IRC networks. DALnet pioneered nickname and channel registration, giving users the right and ability to govern their online experience, without the fear of channel takeover, impersonation or harassment.

/media/icons/efnet-25.png EFNet 📎

Webchat: http://chat.efnet.org:9090/
Server Locations: US, EU
Services: chanfix
Servers: http://www.efnet.org/?module=servers
Servers: irc.choopa.net, efnet.deic.eu
Statistic: https://netsplit.de/networks/statistics.php?net=EFnet
EFnet is the modern-day descendant of the original IRC network.

/media/icons/geekshed-25.png GeekShed

Services: NickServ, ChanServ
Servers: http://www.geekshed.net/servers/
Servers: irc.geekshed.net
Statistic: https://netsplit.de/networks/statistics.php?net=GeekShed
GeekShed is a free to use and family-friendly Internet Relay Chat network, capable of hosting chat rooms for a variety of purposes.

IRCnet 📎

Webchat: http://webchat.ircnet.net/
Services: /SQUERY ALIS
Support Channels: #help
Servers: http://www.ircnet.info/servers
Servers: open.ircnet.net, ssl.ircnet.ovh, ssl.cloak.ircnet.ovh
Statistic: https://netsplit.de/networks/statistics.php?net=IRCnet
IRCnet is one of the oldest and largest IRC networks with more than 25.000 users using it daily.


Server Locations: Europe, UK
Services: nickserv, chanserv, alis, memoserv, tls, ipv6
Support Channels: #libera
Servers: irc.libera.chat, irc.libera.chat:6697
Providing a community platform for free and open-source software and peer directed projects.

/media/icons/oftc-25.png OFTC

Webchat: https://webchat.oftc.net/
Services: NickServ, ChanServ
Support Channels: #oftc
Servers: irc.oftc.net
Statistic: https://netsplit.de/networks/statistics.php?net=OFTC
The Open and Free Technology Community aims to provide stable and effective collaboration services to members of the community in any part of the world, while closely listening to their needs and desires. OFTC was founded at the end of 2001 by a group of experienced members of the Open Source and Free Software communities aiming to provide these communities with better communication, development, and support infrastructure. OFTC is a member project of Software in the Public Interest, a non-profit organization which was founded to help organizations develop and distribute open hardware and software.

/media/icons/quakenet-25.png QuakeNet 📎

Webchat: https://webchat.quakenet.org/
Server Locations: Europe, US
Services: Yes, L (LightWeight Service), Q (The Other Service)
Support Channels: #feds
Servers: https://www.quakenet.org/servers
Statistic: https://www.quakenet.org/statistics#tab-users-day
They call it the best multiplayer game ever. Maybe they’re right, maybe not. Anyway, here’s a network full of (mainly European) addicts. It has grown from a subject-specific network into the largest IRC network in the world!


Webchat: https://rizon.net/chat
Server Locations: US, EU, AS
Support Channels: #help
Servers: https://wiki.rizon.net/index.php?title=Servers
Servers: irc.rizon.ca, irc.rizon.no, rizon.c.datapacket.com
Statistic: https://netsplit.de/networks/statistics.php?net=Rizon
Rizon is an IRC (internet relay chat) network that has been around for 18 years and counting. It is an entirely free service that allows you to setup a channel to chat with your friend about any old topic, or to coordinate with your group.

/media/icons/undernet-25.png Undernet 📎

Webchat: https://chat.undernet.org/
Server Locations: Europe, US, Canada
Services: Yes, The Undernet Channel Service Committee (CSC)
Support Channels: #cservice
Servers: https://www.undernet.org/servers.php
Stable and highly organized network which pioneered features now commonplace on other networks. Channel service requires certain conditions before registering a channel. Policy and application form available from their web site. Support for its services is extensive.

Groups: small, regional, topical, general, popular