This page pertains to the most general FAQs about IRC.
What is IRC ?
IRC, abbreviated for Internet Relay Chat, provides a platform for open chatting & is chiefly designed for group communication . It consists of networks which themselves contains channels which refers to the place for group discussion relevant to the topics for the discussion.
Why should I join IRC ?
IRC allows you to have real time chat with individuals proficient in various fields around the globe & helps you in discussion of your problem .
What are the ways to join IRC ?
There are various ways to join IRC--
1. Installing IRC application 2. Using your web browser
1. You can install various programs available both for Linux as well as windows.
Here are some of the them --
- XChat - http://www.xchat.org/download/
- mIRC -http://www.mirc.com
- LeafChat - http://www.leafdigital.com/Software/leafChat/
You can install the application in the manner applicable to your Operating System
2. You can browse through the following websites to connect to IRC--
- http://www.mibbit.com -> This doesn't support Freenode network anymore
You can also install firefox addon Chatzilla 
I am a newbie and I'd like to have list of networks & channels ?
You can get the exhaustive listing of networks & channels here 
There are over 7000 networks present with over 800,000 users
What is Freenode ?
Freenode is a network which provides group discussion facilities for Free and Open Source Software communities. There are about 10,000 channels & 150,000 users present anytime.
You can get listing of channels in Freenode here