How Internet Relay Chat Works

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a service layer system that eases communication in text. The chat process operates on a client/server networking pattern. Computer programs that anyone can install on their system or web-based applications that run either in the browser locally or on a third-party server are called IRC clients. By interacting with chat servers, these clients send messages to other clients.

Primarily, the creators set up IRC for group interaction in discussion forums named channels; however, IRC also supports one-on-one communication through private messages, chat, data transfer, and file sharing. IRC is a prominent method utilized by botnet owners for sending instructions to the individual computers in their botnet. There are two ways of completing it on a specific channel: a public IRC network or a separate IRC server. The IRC server comprising the channel(s) used to control bots is known as a "command and control" or C2 server.

On the internet, specific sites such as Talk City or IRC networks like the Undernet offer servers that aid you in downloading an IRC client on your computer. An IRC client applet is provided for you by Talk City as part of their home page so that chatting can begin right away. You can start a chat group (channel), or you can join an existing one. There is a protocol to aid in discovering existing chat groups and their members.

Example of Internet Relay Chat

People refer to the IRC chat rooms as IRC channels, and you can find these channels on IRC servers, which can be connected to by finding that server's information. This information usually begins with "irc," then a period, the server name, and lastly, .com .org or .net. For example, "irc.[Servername].org"

There are several types of IRC servers.

  • There are small IRC servers (such as OperaNet)
  • Medium IRC servers with over 30,000 users (for example, Freenode and DalNet)
  • Big IRC servers with over 100,000 users (such as EFNet)

Significance of Internet Relay Chat

There is a wide range of importance attached to using an internet relay chat. Here are some:

  • IRC makes an environment for immediate communication where users can share concepts and information in actual time.
  • mIRC aims to offer a user-friendly configuration to use with the Internet Relay Chat server.
  • "The IRC network is a virtual connecting place where individuals worldwide can gather and talk" is stated in the help pages for the mIRC v.5.8. While this is very simplistic, it entails what IRC is about—a place for individuals to meet and communicate.

Due to the sheer number of servers accessible, they give virtual assurance to a user of a connection at any point in time. It is advantageous to users who require constant connectivity, but IRC servers will allow only a certain number of predetermined connections outside its domain. Hence, to guarantee a connection, the user should find a server close to them.