Using a bouncer to connect to your IRC servers


What is a bouncer?

A bouncer connects to all of your IRC servers and joins all of your favourite channels. It then allows you to connect to it in order to interact on those IRC servers it is connected to.

Why use a bouncer?

If you answer yes to any of the following questions you may be interested in using a bouncer.
Do you want to:

  • Always be online?
  • Keep logs of all activity 24/7 in your favourite channels?
  • Upon connecting have all your nickserv, q or perform commands be managed in one place?
  • Use different devices and or different IRC client software to connect to your servers and channels? (Connect from your phone, laptop at home or work computer)


ZNC is one example of an IRC bouncer. Their website is here.

How can I use a bouncer?

You might want to explore the following options:

  • Use a third-party ZNC;
  • Install and use ZNC at home on a computer which is always on, such as a raspberry pi;
  • Rent a VPS and install and use ZNC on it.

Use a third-party ZNC account

The easiest option. You connect to a working ZNC account and all you have to do is configure the servers and channels you want the ZNC to connect to. A list of providers can be found here.

Install and use ZNC at home

With a little extra effort you can re-use an old computer and install ZNC on it. Compared to an existing ZNC provider, YOU control everything! Obviously, the computer in question will have to have a stable internet connection and run with little downtime.
There’s many posts on the internet to be found on how to run ZNC on - for instance - a raspberry pi. A small selection:

I recommend reading through the ZNC wiki and - if unclear - ask questions on the #znc channel on freenode.

You may wish to open up and configure a port forward on your home router to this ZNC computer. You may also configure a Dynamic DNS solution in order to find your ZNC computer when not at home. DuckDNS is awesome!

Rent a VPS and install and use ZNC on it

The most expensive option! There’s many an option when renting a VPS/Virtual Private Server. I only have experience with STRATO. Obviously you can choose a nifty domain name and use that on IRC :grinning:

Got an iPhone?

Maybe you’re interested in using the app Mutter. It can be found here. There’s a python ZNC module called as well which you can use so that you are auto-notified on your iPhone when your nickname is mentioned on IRC.

You may want to use the module clientbuffer by CyberShadow as well. When connecting using multiple clients, please read this.

Got an android phone?

You may wish to install znc-push and configure it.