Server lists. If you know the name of the network already and just want to find some servers on that network, skip right to our server lists.
Popular Nets. Networks with over 10,000 users maximum. Combined, they account for over 90% of IRC usage. Certainly the place(s) to go to just hang around and browse. Being the size they are, they tend to be plagued by lag, splits, spam and general stupidity much more than smaller ones. Still, for most people, one of these is ‘the place to be’.
Medium-sized networks. These are ‘smaller networks’ which have grown up. As a rule, they offer the same kind of service, but tend to look a bit more like the major nets. Networks with a maximum usercount of 1,000 to 20,000 are listed in this category.
The smaller networks. Networks with under 1000 users maximum. Frequently created as alternatives to the major nets, most of these networks attempt to avoid those problems which make life tough on the large nets. As a rule, they will promise either no lag, no splits, no oper abuse, no porn, no warez, yes warez, general lawlessness or any combination of the above. Some of them are also pretty successful and certainly are viable alternatives to the Big Four.
Subject and Special interest networks. As an alternative to gathering on channels on one of the other smaller or larger networks, some groups of people have set up their own networks, dedicated to their cause, subject of interest or serving a particular social group. Some are part of a larger internet presence regarding their subject and may lead to much more information on it.
Local networks. Does it have to be ‘global’? The answer is No! Local and national networks are becoming increasing popular, as they allow local server connections, especially useful in areas with bad network connectivity, offer an environment where the local language is predominant in the case of non-English speaking countries and, of course, will be a place for discussing topics of local interest. They vary in size, having five to 100 client servers and 200 to over 5000 users at their peak, some having more users from their domain than are on all other networks combined. A welcome option for both locals and expatriates. Some of them also have a server or two outside their domain to accommodate foreign clients.
1996-1998 Joseph Lo and many others.