A client is anything connecting to a server that is not another server.
- J. Oikarinen, D. Reed; Internet Relay Chat Protocol;
RFC 1459; May 1993.
An IRC server echoes the conversations on
each channel to each connected user on
that channel and network to provide the illusion that the participants are
all in the same virtual
When you log onto IRC with your client application,
it logs onto the server you set as your default
in the program settings. You can then join any public chat room running on that
server. Every message
you enter in a given chat room is then sent by your client application across
the Internet to the IRC server, which immediately echoes it to every other
connected to that chat room.
Because the server copies and echoes the messages across the world so fast,
traveling across copper and fiber connections at 2/3 the speed of light, the
illusion is maintained that everyone is directly connected to everyone else,
they are only really connected in common to the server.