mIRC

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Description

mIRC is an internet relay chat client which was designed for Windows. It was created in 1995 and is currently one of the most popular IRC clients available for Windows.

Features

Although the application is mostly used as a chat utility, it is extensible and versatile due to its integrated scripting language. mIRC can be used to chat, share files, play, and work with others in IRC networks. mIRC features a built-in file server, where files can be shared via the DCC protocol. Multi-user group conferences are possible, as well as one-to-one private discussions. The mIRC interface supports features such as buddy lists, multi-server connections, file transfers, IPv6, proxy support, SSL encryption, UTF-8 display, customizable sounds, UPnP, spoken messages, message logging, and tray notifications.

Comparison

mIRC is still one of the most downloaded and most used IRC clients today. Several of its features, such as scripting, really set it apart from the competition. That is not to say that there is no competition. X-Chat is one of mIRC’s main competitors. Currently it is one of the most popular IRC clients on the web. The reason for this is that it is open source, meaning that the program can be used on both Windows and Linux. X-Chat, like mIRC, also has a 30-day evaluation license. The difference between the two is that the user cannot use the program after the evaluation period expires. Another competitor is HydraIRC. This program was developed to simplify the IRC experience, making IRC easier for beginners while still meeting the power-users demand. This client is free and open source.
KVIrc is another application which represents significant competition. It is one of the oldest IRC clients available and has been in development for over 10 years. The program allows for user customization, due to its extensive scripting support. The main difference between KVIrc and mIRC is that KVIrc is portable, meaning that it can be used without prior installation. It is also cross-platform, making it compatible with other operating systems.

Conclusion

mIRC is one of the oldest IRC clients around. Much work has been put into its development. It has, since its release, been one of the most downloaded and used clients available. Its advanced features, particularly scripting, are what outshines its competitors. The downside is the 30-day evaluation period, after which users must put up with a pop up screen every time they start up the program.

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