User:JustAnotherArchivist/hackint vs EFnet

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  • more decentralised
  • old
  • unstable (netsplits, server outages)
  • ridiculous channel, nick, and topic length limits
  • low channel join limits (i.e. how many channels you can join from one connection) on almost all servers; limit varies between servers such that a reconnect might cause join errors
  • varying degrees of IPv6 and TLS support depending on the server; no valid TLS certificates anywhere
    • At least one server ( does not support anything higher than TLS 1.0. This means that you cannot connect to it on current Debian systems, where OpenSSL is configured to enforce TLS 1.2+ by default.
  • no services
    • While there are bots to re-op people automatically, this does not work reliably. For example, the rDNS fails from time to time, especially when many people are reconnecting after a server issue. We've also seen cases where the identd connection failed on a reconnect. These change the hostname and username, respectively, which causes the user mask to no longer be recognised by the opping bots. There is no good way to work around this.
  • broken web chat (silent truncation of long messages)
  • Tor connections generally disallowed/banned (exact policy varying per server)
  • policy varying per server (e.g. no bots allowed on some servers)
  • no IRCv3 support, and unlikely to ever be added


  • stable
  • services (automatic opping/voicing, proper access control for restricted channels)
  • security: TLS required, valid TLS certificates (one of the few IRC networks!)
  • Tor connections welcome
  • accessibility (XMPP etc., though that's apparently not working properly at the moment)
  • permissive policy (anything legal per German and Dutch laws is allowed)
  • backed by like-minded people (Chaos Computer Club)
  • (partial) IRCv3 support
  • not very old
  • operated by regional chapters of the CCC

Stability comparison over about 4 months (end of August to end of December), excluding network issues on my side:

  • EFnet: 8 disconnects, 68 netsplits of unknown total time because sometimes there is no proper rejoin of the split server; several server outages where everyone connected just suddenly times out, not easily trackable
  • hackint: zero disconnects, four netsplits totalling less than 10 minutes (574 seconds) and rejoining cleanly every time

These numbers are based on connections from a server at OVH in Canada. The EFnet connections were to Colosolutions (New York); the hackint servers are in Germany and the Netherlands, but the details aren't known.