Chatting Online in South Africa

Hands on KeyboardUnlike most of you out there I could be called an “Old School chatter”. Most South Africans using the internet don’t really chat online. This might be because we don’t have an enormous amount of constant internet users in South Africa (due to high bandwith and usage costs). I’ve been in and out and on and off chatrooms on the internet for the past 13 years. Besides its ancient look and feel (compared to the modern Instant Messaging services currently available out there) I’m still a fan of IRC or Internet Relay Chat. Wikipedia defines IRC as “a form of real-time Internet text messaging (chat) or synchronous conferencing. It is mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums, called channels, but also allows one-to-one communication via private messages as well as chat and data transfers via Direct Client-to-Client”. IRC is probably one of the oldest forms of chat on the internet (founded in pre-internet days by Jarkko Oikarinen in August 1988). Since I’ve always used Microsoft Windows as an operating system mIRC has always been my preferred IRC client. mIRC is fairly easy to use and quite user friendly. The client has a built-in list of available IRC servers around the world. A few South African servers are included in its list of IRC servers but users can also add servers manually on mIRC if they’re not included in the server list. If this sounds too technical for you, you could try visiting the Chat 27 Website which allows users to connect to chatrooms on South African IRC servers directly.

Here are links to the websites of the most popular South African IRC servers:

  • Atrum: – Port 6666, 6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6666, 6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6666, 6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6666, 6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6666, 6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6666, 6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl)
  • Blabber Net: – Port 6667, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6667, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6667, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6667, 7000 (ssl)
  • Chat SA: – Port 6667, 7045, 6601 (ssl) – Port 6667, 7045, 6601 (ssl) – Port 6667, 7045, 6601 (ssl) – Port 6667, 7045, 6601 (ssl)
  • Easy Chat: – Port 6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl) – Port 2121,6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl)
  • BhasIRC: – Port 6667 Port 6667 – Port 6667 – Port 6667 – Port 6667 – Port 6667 – Port 6667 – Port 6667 – Port 6667 – Port 6667
  • Shadowfire: – Port 6667, 6668, 7000 (ssl)
  • Triborn: – Port 6667, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6667, 7000 (ssl) – Port 6667, 7000 (ssl)
  • ZANet: – Port 6667, 1130, 7000 – Port 6667, 7000, 8080

Other related Links:
Internet Relay Chat – Wikipedia
mIRC – Official Website
mIRC – Wikipedia
IRC Beginner – Website for IRC newbies

This is a tutorial video explaining the basics of mIRC:

The majority of South Africans that are using the internet are not aware of all the ways and software by which one can communicate with others on the Internet. Most users are probably aware of the Facebook chat function and Instant Messaging clients like Google Talk (or chatting whilst checking your mail on Gmail), Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) and Yahoo Messenger (the reason why some users refer to Yahoo as “Yahell”). South African mobile phone users are probably aware of Mxit (but the majority of Mxit users are not aware that you are able to connect to Mxit via Pidgin on your PC). I make use of some of these applications (and have done so for years). I got frustrated with using all the different programs and it was chowing up a lot of memory on my system, slowing it down. I stumbled upon Pidgin, an application which enables users to connect to more than 1 Instant Messaging service (instead of installing all the individual applications needed for each one). Pidgin also enables users to add an IRC server (which makes it very convenient indeed).

Related Links:
Windows Live Messenger – Official Website
Google Talk – Official Website
Yahoo Messenger – Official Website
Mxit – Official Website
Pidgin – Official Website

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Henno Kruger
Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant and co-founder of SA Music Zone

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  • fluKe

    You left out the biggest south african IRC server, shadowfire.

    • Running Wolf

      Fluke: Thank you for the reminder. Will be adding it to the post soon. Will also include server addresses 😛

  • Mariaan

    This article is very interesting and informative. Thanks for posting it. 😀

    • Running Wolf

      Mariaan: Glad you found this post interesting 🙂 Watch this space for more 🙂

  • Tara

    And here I was thinking shadowfire was safe from a possible onslaught 😉

    Are there still people on ZANet? Haven’t been there absolutely forever.

  • Tara

    *in absolutely forever

    Sorry 😉

    • Running Wolf

      Tara: Thx for your comment. Yes, ZANet is still there. I actually started chatting on there back in 1998 I think on Windows 95 LOL

  • Alet

    Mwaaah … very interesting. But forgot to tell the ppl how addictive it can become lol….

  • Running Wolf

    Alet: I did forget to mention that 🙂

  • CaSpEr

    hey love your site i am the owner of bhasirc and would love to have any of u guys there , i also have a mobile downloads site feel free to visit cheers you all

    • Running Wolf

      CaSpEr: Thank you for your comment and the extra information.

  • ^VanManInc^

    Hey Guys nice site you got going – i know Easychat very well. my java mobile application “Flirt” is based there its url is and here is a little info about it..

    “Simply the Best IRC Client ever to be made based on jmirc source code. Flirt is a J2ME MIDlet allowing cell phone owners to use IRC wirelessly. It should work on any device supporting MIDP 1.0 and MIDP 2.0 and also supports connecting through HTTP proxy server on phones that don’t support the Java socket API.”

    Flirt’s Features are :
    » Should run on any J2ME device
    » Small and easy to use (v2.0 is 58kB)
    » Supports multiple windows and scrolling is easy with pgup/pgdown and home/end buttons.
    » Supports UTF-8 autodetect, native encoding/decoding and fallback charset if decoding fails.
    » Supports connecting through an HTTP proxy and provides a standalone easy-to-set-up proxy.
    » You can add favourites for most used phrases and send them with few button presses.
    » Full and working support for mIRC colours.

    Hope you all enjoy it

  • ^VanManInc^

    forgot to mention that its designed for EasyChat..

    • Running Wolf

      ^VanManInc^: Thanks for the feedback and interesting link 🙂

  • ^VanManInc^

    No problem 😀

  • Squirm

    Well, Triborn has gone out of business, I was a founder there. But in it’s wake, we got together Chatznet which has now become GigIRC. Just for reference: (6667,+7000) (6667,+7000) (6667,+7000) (6662,6663,6664,6665,6666,6667,6668)

    • Running Wolf

      Squirm: Thanks for the Update 🙂

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