IRCCloud is an always-on cloud-based IRC client

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 30, 2013

I discovered Internet Relay Chat (IRC) back in the early days of the Internet. Back then, it was one of the primary means to chat with people from all over the world.

When I played UT, we had our own channel on Quakenet, and so did all the other clans and players. Today, it appears not as big as before anymore, but it is still there, and many companies use it for communication or support.

Mozilla for example has its own IRC server that it runs -- -- that provides you with official channels for Firefox, Thunderbird and other products or purposes.

If you have never heard about IRC before, let me give you a short introduction. The core is made up of servers, like the one that Mozilla uses. Each server houses a number of channels, which are like chat rooms more or less, only that you are not limited to chatting, but can also transfer files and do other things here.

One of the problems associated with IRC is that you only know what is happening in a channel when you are connected to it. While it is possible to run bots 24/7, which may not only record all public conversations but also make available other features such as protecting the channel or file sharing, it is usually not something that regular users know how to do or want to do.


IRCCloud is a service that is currently in beta. You can request an invite to try the service out. It offers a web-based IRC client, and also mobile apps for Android or iOS that you can use.

Free vs. Pro: Limited accounts are automatically disconnected after 2 hours. In addition, they cannot access password protected servers, and can only connect to a maximum of 2 networks at the same time. Pro accounts stay permanently connected to IRC, do not have disconnects have inactivity, allow you to connect to as many networks as you like, access password protected networks, and provide you with access to an unlimited chat history. This comes at the price of $4 per month.

What sets it apart from local solutions such as MIRC is the fact that you will stay connected to the channels you are in even if you shut down your computer or close the app on your device.

So, everything that is happening is recorded for you, and you have a 24/7 channel presence as well.

The web-based client is really easy to use. Once you have set up your account, you may connect to a network by selecting it from a list, or entering its hostname directly.

Here you can also list channels that you want to join -- password protected channels are supported -- or run commands, or add a server or NickServ password to the connection process.

All networks and channels that you have joined are displayed on the right. Active channels are highlighted so that they can be easily identified.

As far as past channels are concerned, you can still access them to look up the conversation history of the channel, archive them to move them out of the way, delete them outright which deletes the channel history as well, or rejoin them if you like.

The web-based client ships with a set of settings that you may find interesting. While it does not offer Mirc-like preferences, it lets you highlight words or colorize nicknames for example, or show usermode symbols such as @ or +.

It also makes available a set of keyboard shortcuts that you can make use of to quickly switch channels, sending private messages to other users, or to complete channel names or nicknames using auto-complete.

Closing Words

IRCCloud worked pretty well during tests. One of the issues that I encountered was that it did not provide me with a list of channels, or at least, I could not figure out how to display it. While that is not a problem if you know your destinations, it could very well be one if you are connected to a new network and do not know where to go to get started.

The main advantage the service offers over regular connections is that it will stay connected to the selected channels even if you go offline. While that is also achieved with channel bots, which provide additional powerful features that some users may like, it is less complicated to setup and maintain.

If you hang out on IRC channels regularly, for instance on a company or development channel, then you may want to take a look at the service to test it out.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL:

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

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