|Internet Relay Chat Configuration and Information
If you're new to IRC, you may not realize that there is more than one IRC
network. Each IRC server is connected to one of these networks. The most popular IRC
- EFnet: The original and still largest IRC network, but also the most problematic
in terms of server splits, channel takeovers, etc.
- Undernet: The first major alternate to EFnet; it has gotten huge and sometimes
hard to connect to itself.
- Dalnet: A newer IRC network with some neat features; easier to connect to than
Undernet but still has occasional growing pains.
- NewNet: An offshoot of EFnet but more like DalNet services-wise, and very easy to
You will need to select an IRC server in your client configuration. Better
IRC clients allow multiple servers to be configured and let you choose the one you want at
run time. An IRC server specification consists of a host name, like irc.mit.edu, and a
port number. The default port number, supported by most IRC servers, is 6667. You may get
a faster and more reliable connection by using an alternate port number, however. Port
7000 is supported by many IRC servers. You may be able to find out the alternate port
numbers supported by a given server by reading the message-of-the-day displayed when you
Certain servers are closer to us network-wise and
will offer better performance. Some servers we recommend for use from Datasync are:
- For Datasync: irc.datasync.com
- For EFnet: irc.mindspring.com
- For Undernet: SaltLake.UT.US.Undernet.Org
- For Dalnet: hebron.in.us.DAL.net
- For NewNet: irc.neticus.com
Undernet and Dalnet may be connected to via the pseudo-host names us.undernet.org
and irc.dal.net respectively. These connect you to a random server on the network
and are designed to spread out the load. Try these if the servers above are down or full.
There are quite a few more IRC networks than the ones mentioned above, most of
which are much smaller but don't suffer from the problems that the big networks have
with full servers, splits, and troublemakers. Here are some resources you might find
The other important IRC configuration item is your nickname. This is your
"identity" in IRC, attached to all of your messages. The nickname is limited to
eight characters (except on Dalnet) and must be unique within the IRC network to which you
are connected. Consequently, it can be difficult to find a suitable nickname. If your
first choice is taken when you connect, you will be prompted to choose another, unless
your client allowed you to specify an alternate in the configuration. Dalnet has a feature
with which you can reserve a nickname for your use only.
Other configuration items are your real name and e-mail address. These are
displayed by your nickname in a user listing or user query. You may have to enter
something for these values, but doesn't have to be real.
IRC Configuration for irc.datasync.com
You can find more information about setting up your IRC client to connect
to irc.datasync.com below.