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Jan 31

IRC Bouncers

What is a bouncer?

A bouncer (also BNC) is a bot, which is always connected to a specified IRC server and their channels. It saves all queries send to you, while you’re offline and keeps small channels opened.

Advantages and risks of using a bouncer

There are a lot of discussions why to use a bouncer or not. The best argument for using a bouncer is definitely your hidden IP address. By connecting to a bouncer which is connected to an IRC server, others will only see the bouncer’s IP. It is also possible to bypass existing firewall rules, if a specific server name is blocked. But this feature takes also the risk that you have to trust your bouncer provider. He can simply connect to your bouncer and rag in your name. There are also monthly costs, not much, but it can be up to 10 Euro per year. In my opinion this can be disregarded.

Another discussion is about the established behavior on IRC server. Normally, you join a channel and leave it for another user when you’re finished. A bouncer violates this unwritten law, by keeping a channel open. Because of that, you have to think about what channels do you want to have. If you want a small channel with e.g. your unique clan name, I think nobody would make a big thing of it. Bigger channels with a huge activity could also be protected by the Quakenet Bots L or Q.

A similar discussion goes within the nick reservation. Be sure, you’re bouncer has an unused nick like IHaveAUniqueUsername|afk when you’re offline. Of course, it is great to be the only one who has a specified nick, but you don’t have a claim on this. Be fair and release your nick for others, if you aren’t online with your bouncer.

Last, but not least: Some people think it is cool to have a hostname like “”. Most providers offer a wide range of funny or describing hostnames. If it’s worth to pay just to be a little cooler, I don’t want to amplify at this moment.

Bouncer Types

In general, there exist many types of bouncers with all different functions. The most popular bouncer is PsyBNC, others are the sBNC also called shroudBNC and the ZNC.


This bouncer offers following features:

  • Up to 100 users can be handled with only one task
  • Password encryption
  • SSL-connection between server and bouncer and bouncer and user
  • Logs every event on the server
  • Ability to build a partyline
  • Own scripting interface
  • No own web interface, all changes must be set while connected
  • Oidentd capable


This bouncer offers following features:

  • TCL scripting capable
  • SSL-connection between server and bouncer and bouncer and user including client certification
  • Logs querys while you’re offline
  • Flood protection
  • Ability to build a partyline
  • Own web interface
  • IPv6
  • Oidentd capable


This bouncer offers following features:

  • scripting capable with TCL, Perl and C++
  • Multi user support
  • SSL-connection between server and bouncer and bouncer and user
  • Ability to build a partyline
  • Logs every event on the server
  • DCC support
  • Own web interface

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