The smaller IRC networks - less than 1,000 maximum users
updated October 2021
Server Locations: United States, Canada, Japan, France, and the United Kingdom
Services: AuthServ and X3
Support Channels: #afternet
AfterNET is a network of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) servers that was founded in September of 1996 and is dedicated to providing a free, quality chat environment, which gives people all over the world a means to communicate with each other. As a completely volunteer run organization, we strive to be a place where the freedom of speech of all our users is respected. We are in it for the community, not for a profit.
Support Channels: #nohelp
Yup. It’s BSD. Various flavours of BSD operating systems are the main topic on this network, pretty much in the same style as on LinuxNET. A network for the experts. Rather unfriendly towards outsiders, all they lack is a ‘Keep Out’ notice in the MOTD. If you don’t know what BSD is, this is not for you.
Server Locations: USA
Support Channels: #A-BeyondIRC-Welcome, #Services
Servers: walle.beyondirc.net, whipcrack.beyondirc.net, irc.beyondirc.net
A small IRC network which as been around since January, 1997.
Server Locations: US, EU, Asia
Support Channels: #help, #dragonweyr, #esper
Servers: irc.esper.net, nova.esper.net, anarchy.esper.net, calamity.esper.net
EsperNet is one of the more organized small networks, best known for the public release of the Services created and used on the network. Originally started by an FF RPG group, their userbase is now much more general. Started July 1996
Server Locations: UK, US
Support Channels: #help
Another network promising strict abuse control as one of its pro’s. Unlike most others of the kind though, channel subjects are not restricted.
Server Locations: UK, US
Support Channels: #Nightstar
Started March 1997
Server Locations: ZA, US, EU
Services: NickServ, ChanServ, AresServ
Servers: irc.shadowfire.org, za.shadowfire.org, us.shadowfire.org, eu.shadowfire.org
Quake players, among other things… Started March 1998
Support Channels: #tuwien
A small chat network.
Support Channels: #square
An ambitious project to create a new network which will be “the best network on IRC”, running on guidelines similar to DALnet, managed by experienced admins of former DALnet servers. Started at January 1997
Server Locations: US, GB
Support Channels: #fringe
Started July 1996
Server Locations: DE
Support Channels: #Wonderland
Wunder-Nett is a small German network and one of the older local ones. Last time I checked, it looked like its days were numbered due to lack of users and/or interest… Started July 1995
Server Locations: US
Not to be confused with StarLink, which is older and larger. Started January 1997