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How can I use Tor with IRC? I have noticed that some networks block Tor. How true is that?

I have a problem with flashing my IP adderss whenever I join a channel. Freenode provides a convenient unaffiliated tag for registered users that lets them hide their IP address. But not all networks provide this.

I have noticed many users with the :


on Freenode. How do I get one?

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You can script your client to delay joins till after you get mode x (I think that's set when your unaffiliated address is set). – tobylane Mar 22 '11 at 22:03
If the network supports it, SASL is a more reliable method than "delaying joins". – grawity Mar 22 '11 at 22:05

There is no definite answer. Each network has its own rules regarding Tor and proxy servers in general.

For Freenode, you have to:

  1. Set up your IRC client for SASL authentication;
  2. Connect to the Freenode hidden service irc://p4fsi4ockecnea7l.onion/.

More detailed instructions are at staffblog

The Tor cloak will be applied automatically. However, you mentioned that you already have a generic unaffiliated/* cloak, so Tor should not be necessary on Freenode.

(Nevertheless, configuring SASL is a good idea, to ensure that your cloak – Tor or not – gets applied before joining channels.)

Alternatively, you can connect to IRC through a (proxy) server. Some people rent their own VPS and configure it as a proxy; others settle with an account on a public "shell server".

Whichever of these you choose, it is very easy to tunnel IRC over a generic SSH 'shell' connection.

Some people prefer to use bouncers instead – it's a kind of IRC proxy server that, in addition of hiding your actual address, allows your session to stay online 24/7 even if you disconnect from the bouncer. (IMHO, not much point in that, unless you want to keep complete logs of a channel.)

(To be honest, I do not see any point in hiding your address just for the sake of it. It's not like someone can crash and burn your PC or your house just by having the IP address... It's okay if you wish to remain anonymous and care about it, but not if you're simply scared.)

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Bouncers hearken back to dialup days when some would dial-in to a Unix box to access the Internet. Having a bouncer running on such a box meant that you would get channel scoop even if your phone wasn't tied up. Still useful today because IRC doesn't support presence information, if a person doesn't respond right away they might see your message several hours (or even days) later. – LawrenceC Aug 13 '11 at 4:00
@ultrasawblade: Presence information, as in /away? – grawity Nov 2 '11 at 14:54


For Freenode, you have to:

Set up your IRC client for SASL authentication;
Connect to the Freenode hidden service irc://p4fsi4ockecnea7l.onion/.

More detailed instructions are at staffblog "


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*** Skipping host resolution (disabled by server administrator) Is it possible to use IRC skipping host resolution? – Odie Mar 31 '14 at 15:44

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