Home > 16 Best IRC Clients for Windows, Mac and Linux [Free]

16 Best IRC Clients for Windows, Mac and Linux [Free]

16 Best IRC Clients for Windows, Mac and Linux [Free]

In this article, you will come across what an IRC client is. You will also know about the best IRC clients for Windows 10, MacOS, iOS and Linux. Without taking much more time, let us start.

What Is IRC?

With the development of the internet, we all think that chatrooms are too old school and outdated. But the concept of chatrooms is still used in the servers. In fact, these are widely used.

IRC is a network of chatrooms. Each chatroom is called a server. A server maintains its own network of chatrooms. If you are connected to a server you can participate in the chatrooms of that server and chat with the other clients/users.

IRC, which stands for “Internet Relay chat”, is a protocol that allows communication between multiple networked computers. It allows other features like one to one messages, data transfer and chat rooms.

Best IRC Clients

There are many IRC clients available. And these allow us to chat anytime anywhere. Let us jump in then to the different IRC clients we can use:


mIRC has been one of the best IRC clients for Windows. It offers a wide range of features for it’s users. It is the most used and downloaded IRC client among Windows users. Scripting is one of the features that outshines the mIRC from the other competitors.

mIRC provides a one month free trial to its users.

2. Ice Chat

Ice chat uses the tagline “that cool people use”. Ice chat is a heavily customized IRC client. It allows the users to customize anything from background colours to the font style. All the features are present on the ice chat. It allows visual basic scripting (VBS) for automating a task, multiple servers and multiple channel feature to the users. However, one feature of ice chat which stands out is that it allows various plugins to it’s users. This means that the user can access the google search and follow all the twitter feeds.

Ice chat is a light IRC client but is very efficient. It allows the user to chat within seconds. The user has to enter a nickname and then choose a server. The user can use a global server or can switch to custom-server settings.

3. X-Chat

X-Chat is one of the best known IRC clients for Linux. It has been widely employed as an IRC client. It is an open source so it can be used on Windows as well as Linux.

X-chat offers only one month of free trial. You cannot use it for free after completing the free trial. To avail the ice-chat after one month you have to make a payment of $19.99. If you are not ready to pay, you can opt to use the older version x-chat2 which is a free build of x-chat.


KVIRC has been developed for about 10 years. It is one of the oldest running IRC clients. The period of development is reflected in it’s features. The features of KVIRC are expanded and make it a user-friendly IRC.

KVIRC provides extensive scripting support. This allows a wide range of user customization. One of the best features of KVIRC is that it is portable. The user does not need to install it. It can be used directly from the drive. It can also be run on different platforms like Windows or Mac.

5. Hydral IRC

Hydral IRC was an attempt to introduce IRC to the common people. It has the concept of making the use of IRC easy and efficient. IRC clients have been mostly accessed by the hi-tech people. Hydral was developed so that the beginners can also use IRC clients.

It had a wide range of features to offer to the clients. It is free of cost. NO registration fee is required. It is also an open source IRC, that is, it allows the users to access it on different operating systems. It also allows many plug-ins, the user can chat, use the google search engine and go through their social network feeds. It also has the feature of custom notifications.

6. Quassel

Quassel is defined as modern IRC. It has a wide range of features, all those which any user will expect from an IRC client. It is also cross-platform. The IRC client can be run on Windows, Linux and IOS.

The striking feature of Quassel is that it is distributed. It connects and disconnects from the central core. The central core runs completely online. When the user is away, it disconnects. And when the user gets back it reconnects. This prevents the user from missing out on anything.

7.Thrash IRC

Thrash IRC has proclaimed to be the “best IRC”. Trash IRC is an all-feature IRC. It has a wide range of features, all that are expected from an IRC client. The best part of Thrash IRC is that it provides the user with every feature of an IRC and uses very few system resource files. It uses no spyware or adware. It also has a large collection of smileys which are the best smileys in an IRC client.


Nettalk is a Germany based IRC client. It is a free and open-source IRC client. You can run it on any operating system.

It has a focus to be user-friendly. Nettalk has a very simple default layout. The beginners to IRC can easily gain control over it. Netalk has all the features that should be present in the modern days IRC. It allows multiple plug-ins. This means that you can chat, use the search engine and check your newsfeed at one time. It also offers a wide range of user customization and also has the feature of scripting. The best feature of Nettalk is that it allows the users to use multiple languages. The languages are English, Spanish, Dutch, German, Russian, Hungarian and Chinese.

9. Smuxi

Smuxi is a distributed IRC client. This means that you can end your chat and resume on a different machine without losing any data. The messages, active chats etc are all saved. The user has to choose the server. There are some pre-configured servers. The user can add the serves on their own also. Smuxi also user customization.

The background colour can be changed. The user can also change the font, timestamp formats , buffered lines and much more. You can also avail the feature of desktop notification. It is basically an adequate feature providing IRC client.

10. Hexchat

Hexchat is an IRC which is very user-friendly. It is very similar to X-chat. The difference is that Hexchat is free for both Windows and Linux. Hexchat is an open-source IRC client.

  • You can operate it on Windows, Linux and iOS.
  • It has a user-friendly interface.
  • The user can easily customize it.
  • It also supports multiple languages.

List of 16 Best IRC Clients for Windows, Mac and Linux

We are providing the list of some of the best IRC clients for Mac, Windows 10 and Linux. You can choose the one suitable for you and then use it. Below is the list

  1. mIRC
  2. Ice Chat
  3. X-Chat
  4. KV IRC
  5. Hydral IRC
  6. Quassel
  7. Thrash IRC
  8. Nettalk
  9. Smuxi
  10. Hexchat
  11. Pidgin
  12. IRCCloud
  13. Kiwi IRC
  14. AdiIRC
  15. Irssi
  16. Textual

Now that you have a full-fledged list of the IRC clients, get started to explore them and choose the one best for you. Happy old-school chatting!

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