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Internet Relay Chat: Using HexChat

Monday, February 29th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Free Downloads, Using The Internet

Last time, we looked at how you can connect to an IRC server through a website. Connecting to an IRC channel via a browser is perfectly fine, but some people want to use dependent clients made especially for handling IRC.

There are many IRC clients on the internet that you can download to your PC, but for the sakes of this tutorial, we’ll be looking at the client called HexChat, which is free to download for both PC and Unix-based systems.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed HexChat, you’re going to want to find a channel you want to connect to. Last time, we covered how you look for channels, and you can perform the same search to find channels to connect to via HexChat. The difference is, instead of clicking to connect via webchat, you note the server and room name, then switch back to HexChat and enter the details there instead.

First, we need the server and channel information. Find a channel in the same way you would for the Kiwi IRC webclient, but on the screen where you enter your nickname, click the ‘Server and network’ link. This will open some technical details; we’ll need these later.


Open up HexChat, and click ‘HexChat’, then ‘Network List’.


In the window that pops up, enter your username. For Second and Third Choice, just type your username with a 2 and and 3 at the end – these are used should you encounter a connection problem. After adding these, click Add.


This will create a new network. Name it whatever you like (I name it after the server I am connecting to), click it once, then click Edit.


You’ll be presented with the screen below. Once in this screen, double-click the ‘newserver/6667′ and type in your details instead. Remember the details from Kiwi IRC? In this box, you need to type what’s in the Server box, then a forward slash, then the details in the Port box. In the above example, this would be ‘′. Once you have typed this, click on the ‘autojoin channel’ tab.



Here, add the channel name by clicking ‘Add’ and entering it. The channel name would be what you see in the ‘Channel’ box in Kiwi IRC.


When you’re done, OK all of the boxes, then click Connect. You’re done!


Browse around the options; here, you can select things such as font, colours, and even notification sounds. Have an explore and tweak your IRC experience to your liking!

That’s it for the IRC series. Chat safe!

~ Simon

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