Irssi is probably the best irc client there is out there. According to their website, irssi is 'The client of the future'. Being a text mode irc client, which does not seem to be very fashionable nowadays when most people use graphical desktops, this is true for several reasons. One of them is because you can run it 24/7 in a server without a graphical environment and secondly because of its proxy module.
It is difficult to explain the huge advantages of this in a short sentence. But let me try: If you use irssi proxy you'll be able to connect to it from any other computer across the internet and using any other client or clients. Let's say for instance: X-chat.
All this keeping your nick because what you are actually doing is sharing one connection using one or several clients at the same time. You can close your clients connected to the proxy but your irc session will continue as long as your first irssi client and proxy are on.
The first thing that may come to your mind may be that you can access your irssi client running on screen and using ssh. Yes, you sure can. But we are dicussing here the advantages of using irssi proxy. You can still have it running with screen as it does not affect how the proxy works.
Let's get down to it. In order to use irssi proxy you have to compile it with the --with-proxy option. You can read the documentation for more details.
In my case I'm using Debian and it already comes with the proxy module. I already had an instance of irssi running connected to my favourite network and channels. So the only thing I had to do was:
1.- /load proxy
2.- /set irssiproxy_password < mypassword >
3.- /set irssiproxy_ports < ports.you.want.the.proxy.to.listen.to > It works < network >=< port > I use oftc so I wrote oftc=6667. You can specify as many as you want, or need.
Now the proxy is listening to connections on port 6667.
You are not done yet. But the hardest part is over. You can now go to any computer in your local network or connected to the internet. Open your favourite irc client and configure it to connect to your proxy. Your irssi proxy 'acts' as a new server so add it < your.irssi.proxy.address.or.ip > < port > < your.password > It can be any: irssi, xchat, gnome-xchat, chatzilla, weechat...
Since it is a proxy you can connect as many clients as you want. They will all share the same irc session actually running on your original irssi client with the same nick. You could be on a machine with xchat in another one with gnome-xchat. All your conversations from different clients would be one on the server. And your nick would be the same.
The only problem is that on the clients connected to the proxy you will not be able to read the backlog. You can read it anyway connecting to your original irssi client, the one you have activated the proxy from.
Now you're done. Enjoy your chat, and /part if you want to, but there is not the need to /quit anymore using irssi proxy!!!
Update: If you want your proxy module loaded at startup you have to create a file .irssi/startup with this text: load proxy