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How to stay connected to IRC using a bouncer

Two months ago I started using IRC. I was connecting to some channels on Freenode, but my connection was not that stable also I keep changing host like sometimes I use machine from lab, my laptop or my Android phone.

If you have used IRC before then you must be familiar with the behavior of IRC server. If you are not connected to server then you will lose the messages when you were disconnected.

So I asked for help on #dgplug channel, the conclusion was to use a bouncer.

What is a bouncer or BNC?

A BNC (Bounced Network Connection) is a software that stays connected to IRC server so that you can connect/disconnect your IRC client without losing the messages.


Benefits of using a Bouncer

  • Stay connected to IRC server.
  • Ability to connect more clients to single account.

How to setup a BNC?

Either you can install it on your own server or get a free BNC from some BNC provider.

ZNC is mostly used bouncer software.

Some free bouncer providers, and has a bouncer included, simple solution is to get an account on as they have client for Android too.

I’m using EliteBNC, it’s a good service and well maintained.

How to get BNC from EliteBNC?

Join #elitebnc channel on Freenode and type !list it will show all available commands.

There are three ways or commands to request BNC, !request!easyreq and !emailreq

To get BNC for Freenode, send !easyreq <email>

Once your request gets approved you will receive an email, go ahead and login to your account. The link would be like

where xxx is server name, which will be mentioned in the mail sent by EliteBNC eg. Pi, Xi, Theta.

Go to ‘Your settings’ and edit the Freenode network, enable the nickserv module so that Freenode will identify you.

You can edit other details in ‘Your settings’

You can use to join the channel if you don’t have any IRC client or use HexChat.

How to connect HexChat or other IRC client to EliteBNC?

Add new network in HexChat and follow the screenshots.

To do that go HexChat->Network List, Add new network and Edit it.

Adding bouncer to hexchat network list

We will be using port 1338, as it is port for SSL (secured) connection.

Adding new network

That’s it, now you have setup a BNC and you will not loose messages, also EliteBNC users get iline cloak so your IP address will be hidden.

I recommend qicr for Android as client.


Comments are not enabled on this site. The old comments might still be displayed. You can reply on one of the platforms listed in ‘Posted on’ list, or email me.

Ashwani Kumar Gupta on Thu Jun 15, 2017 09:55 IST

Very well written. Easy to understand for beginners. Thank you.

Deepika Upadhyay on Wed Jun 28, 2017 19:00 IST

thanks for this article , didn't found anything simpler,with this utility i was searching for !

Jason Braganza on Mon Jul 3, 2017 09:52 IST

You solved quite an issue for us. Thank you :)

Khomesh Thakre on Sat Sep 16, 2017 22:26 IST

Bhavin, I think you should now mention here that users should not try to join it using ip (RIT College) because they have banned college public IP

EasyBNC Support on Sun May 19, 2019 18:52 IST

ZNC is great.

EasyBNC Support on Sun May 19, 2019 18:53 IST

Good Article!

We also provide free BNC's, -powered by ZNC...

unRheal on Wed Apr 15, 2020 18:31 IST

Nice, easy to understand and probably get anyone up and going quick.

Minor point (and grammar but it doesn't effect understanding) - you say: "ZNC is mostly used bouncer software." You could say: "ZNC is the most popular bouncer software." or: "ZNC is the bouncer software used by more people than any other." ... or a few other ways... like I say, minor grammar and understanding is not a problem.
My other thing though - was that I was wondering how you came about to know that ZNC is the most used. If I were to add such a statement into the bouncer page on Wikipedia, I would definitely have to put up a reference link that proved it. (no offense, I appreciate and also got useful information from your article - and you could very well be correct, since I haven't connected to IRC for some years, and only learned about the existence of bouncer software today (April 15, 2020) and you didn't mention if you thought ZNC was the most used, or if you actually knew it from some source.)
For others, you might want to check the Wikipedia page, which lists about 10 different bouncer software, including ZNC.
No worries, and thanks for the article.. still helped me some even 3 or so years after you wrote it. Cheers.