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Introduction mIRC

Barrierman did spent quite some time on writing 3 articles on IRC (mIRC).

On this page we explain how to download mIRC, install it and use it for the first time.
IRC offers you a wide range of possibilities on chatting and downloading files. One warning up front: copying/downloading copyrighted material (ie. movies, mp3's and applications, etc) is most likely not legal in your country!

Although IRC look complicated, it really isn't, specially after reading this article!

Any questions left after reading this page, then take a look at these pages: mIRC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or How to download files with mIRC! Ofcourse; don't forget the forum either!

Note: read the disclaimer!

Note: This text is partially based on text found on the mIRC website (with Tjerk's permission) and has been adapted by Barrierman (VCDnMPG website) and your webmaster to clarify the use of mIRC. Sometimes we focus on the use #VCDnMPG on the network EFNET.

mIRC - in co-operation with vcdnmpg.net

What is IRC and what is mIRC?

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a virtual environment where people from all over the world meet and chat. Basically IRC is a large collection of chat-rooms.

IRC chatting is like chatting with a keyboard: you type messages. Each IRC users will have to use a small application for IRC access, like for example mIRC. This little tool connects you to a central server within the IRC network. All servers within the IRC network are inter connected, s messages you type will be relayed to all the other servers, so everyone can see you typing (if they are in the same chatbox). Chatboxes are public, but you can also have private chats with friends and relatives.

mIRC is one of those applications that allow you to get in the IRC network
, written by Khaled Mardam-Bey. It's easy to use and has a lot of handy features.

mIRC can be downloaded from the mIRC Homepage.

IRC has more possibilities than just chatting, it will also allow you to download files as well. Using mIRC (download app. 1 Mb) is therefor most definitly worth the use!

The next steps will show you how to download mIRC, install it and get it to work.

Downloading mIRC

We'll guide you trought the process step by step. There are other explanations available on the web, for example: http://www.dse.nl/~hanswim/.

How and where to download mIRC?

As with most application that you can find on the internet, mIRC is also downloadable as a little file that installs the application for you. It's all a matter of finding the proper version.

mIRC has been written for the more recent Windows versions, like Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT and Windows XP. There is no version for Apple Macintosh, Linux and/or other operating systems!

Now go to the download page on the mIRC website and download the most recent version.

On this page you will see, below a banner saying "mIRC x.yz, for Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, XP, NT etc." (where x.yz = version number), you will see diffrent files (they are all the same though!) which can be downloaded from diffrent countries. Pick one. It doens't really matter which country you take. Some folk say that a country close by has a higher transfer rate, but that isn't always true.

The next thing to download is the most recent serverlist. Again, go to the homepage of mIRC, below the header "New collection of IRC servers." you will find the most recent servers.ini file. Dowload it there or by clicking right here: servers.ini.

Save the servers.ini file somewhere on your harddrive and make sure you don't forget where you put it.

Installing mIRC

OK let's do the real installation. Locate the file you just downloaded and double click it to start the installation.

mIRC: The first installer screen
mIRC: The first installer screen

Click"Next >".

A similar screen appears, asking you to agree to the user licencse agreement. Click "Yes".

The next window asks you where to put mIRC, ususally the default location is just fine.

mIRC: where shall I put mIRC?
mIRC: where shall I put mIRC?

Click "Install".

mIRC is now being installed (image on the left). The image on the right indicates that the installation has been completed.

Make sure you uncheck "Read mIRC Help file" and "Launch mIRC" and click "Finish".

mIRC: installation in progress and finished...
mIRC: installation in progress and finished...

Now it's time to update the servers.ini file. Copy the downloaded servers.ini file (if you lost the file: download the file here), into the mIRC directory. The default directory is C:\Program Files\mIRC or with older mIRC versions: C:\mIRC. OVERWRITE the existing servers.ini file.

OK,the first steps have been taken, mIRC is installed.

Using mIRC for the first time

Start mIRC (you will find it in the windows START menu).

The mIRC window appears with a welcome message:

mIRC: Welcome at mIRC!
mIRC: Welcome at mIRC!

On the lefthand side in the window, uncheck the "Visit the mIRC website at" and close this window by clicking the little cross in the upper right corner.

A window called "mIRC Options" appears. Copy the settings you see below, natturally replace "Your Name" with your own name. See the little table below:

IRC Network EFnet
(Field below that) EFnet, EU, BE, Brussels
Fullname your own name
Email Address your email address
Nickname your alias or nickname
Alternative an alternative nickname

mIRC: Options Window
mIRC: Options window

In this window you can choose a different IRC Server if you want to. By default it will try to use a nearby DALnet server. DALnet is one of the larger IRC networks. For Europe, EFnet is of importance as well. So the selection of "EFnet" is optional and you can select any other server. This text focusses on EFnet other networks work similar.

Note: You do not have to use your realname and/or email address! If you prefer to be unknown then that's OK, just make sure the email address looks as if it was a real one.

Also, check the 'Invisible mode' option, in the lower part of this window. This might save you some unwanted crap.

No, in the tree on the left, goto "Identd".

Check "Enable Identd server" and enter a random "UserID" for example your firstname.

mIRC: Identd settings
mIRC: Identd settings


Note: users that are behind a firewall and/or NAT router: make sure port 113 is mapped to your PC!!!

Now go back to the "Connect" screen (again in the tree on the left) and verify again NETWORK and SERVER!

Now click "OK" and the options window will dissappear.

In the mIRC window, you can now click the "Connect" button to connect to the IRC, or use the meny option "Connect" from the "File" menu.

mIRC: Connect button
mIRC: Connect button

A lot of text appears to be passing the in the window and after a few seconds a window will open ("mIRC Channels folder"): You're connected to the IRC now.

mIRC: Finally - contact!
mIRC: Finally - contact!

Now it's time to explore some of the possibilities.

The next step

So what did just happen? Take some time and look around.

If everything went right; mIRC is now connected to the IRD network. The IRC server of your choice did send some information, found in the large status window.

The window called "Channels Folder" has also appeared. Here we see some popular IRC channels, try one!

Double click the channel you want to try (or single click a channel and click the "OK" button).

mIRC: Available Channels
mIRC: Available Channels

When opening a channel (you joined a channel) a new window opens.

mIRC: Joined a channel
mIRC: Joined a channel

On the rightside you will see the nicknames of the people on this channel. Your own nickname will appear here too.
The left part of the window is the chat-area. Take a look and see what people are chatting about.

If you want to leave a channel then simply close the window.

tip: Optimize screen colors

By default, mIRC uses a white background. However, you might want to use a black bacjground. All colors in fact can be changed. Go tot the menu "Tools" - "Colors" (or press ALT+K). In this window you can change all colors;

mIRC: Color settings
mIRC: Color settings

All the text parts are obviously - simply click the text and choose a color. Less obvious is selecting the background color. Click below the "Whois text" text and choose a color. You'll notice that the background changed color. Some text might not be visible anymore (for example "Normal text" when selecting a black background). If this made you decide to leave the colors alone, then click "Cancel". If you have a new color palette designed to your needs and you want to apply it, click "OK".

Next steps ...

As you have just seen: chatting isn't that difficult in IRC.

Naturally we still have a lot to learn, so keep playing a bit with it and try some other channels.

The list of available channels (the 'Channel Folder') is incomplete!. Use the "/list" command in a open channel to get the entire list (which is HUGE). You can use CTRL+F to filter particular text parts in this list. Double click a channel in this list to open it.

In the "Commands" menu you will find the most commonly used commands. The list command can be found here too.

Again: leave a channel by closing the channel's window.

You can leaven the IRC server (EFnet for example) as well by clicking the "Disconnect" button.

mIRC: disconnetc server
mIRC: disconnetc server

To reconnect, click the "Connect" button:

mIRC: Connect again
mIRC: Connect again

In the "File" - "Options" menu you can choose a different IRC server if you want to.

Each network has a large amount of channels, so looking for the channel you want might be pretty tricky and be like looking for a needle in a haystack..


Related articles: mIRC FAQ, How to download using IRC

Additional questions on mIRC/IRC? Check the forum!



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