Worried about the dangers young internet users may face? Click here for the Internet Watch Foundation's guide on the issue. Concerned about your children using Chat? Take a look at Childnet's Chatdanger site.

What is Internet Relay Chat?
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a live, multi-user chat system. IRC Users join a Chat channel (usually dedicated to a particular topic) and then talk in groups or privately. When you talk on IRC, everything that you type will be instantly transmitted to other IRC users in that particular channel.

Please note that because IRC is live, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like BTinternet and BTopenworld have no control over the content of Chat channels, which would exist even if ISPs did not agree to carry them. Additionally, please be aware that it is easy for someone using IRC to create a false persona or masquerade - a man may pose as a child in a children's Chat channel, for instance. Because of this, never allow your children to use Chat without your direct supervision. Make your children aware of the issues, and instruct them to never to give out their personal details (name,address, etc.) when using IRC. It is for these reasons that BTinternet and BTopenworld do not operate an IRC server.

How do I use IRC?
Look at Nicholas Pioche's IRC Primer for comprehensive instructions on how to use IRC.

Can I use other IRC programs with BTinternet?
Yes, there are a number of shareware IRC clients which you can download from the Internet.

        mIRC - IRC client for Windows
        Snak The Best IRC Client for Mac

How can I get a list of current IRC channels?
Look at's IRC Channel list for summaries and links to popular channels.

How do I use the BTinternet Chat program?
Click on your operating system for further information.

        Windows 95/98

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