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Bouncers are used as proxy servers, allowing users to connect to chat servers by bouncing off the computer which is running the bouncer. Basically, they forward the information from the user to the server and vice versa.

After you install and run a bouncer, it listens on a specific port (that you specify during configuration) on the server. Then you can connect to that server on that specific port from the client on your PC (like mIRC). Once you are connected, you can connect to any IRC server. Your real IP address will be hidden, and your host will be the host of the server running the bouncer, or a selected virtual host on that server.

Each bouncer program has its own pros and cons, but they're all fairly similar in features and concept. Of course the syntax of setup and use varies a bit. Some of the most popular choices for IRC bouncing include BNC, psyBNC, ezbounce, and zBNC.

Here we will show you how to compile, install, start, and use your own BNC bouncer (the simplest, and actually the 'original' IRC bouncer).

First, type the following command at your shell account prompt (you obviously must be logged in):
lynx -source http://shellproviders.com/files/bnc2.9.4.tar.gz > bnc.tar.gz

This will download the BNC source code to your shell account. If you know how, you may also download BNC (or any of the other bouncers) from this web site on the left menu.

Now type:
tar -zxvf bnc.tar.gz

This will uncompress the program source.

cd bnc2.9.4

This will bring you into the BNC directory.

To configure and compile/install your BNC bouncer, type:
./configure ; make all

Now you will want to setup the BNC Configuration File.

pico bnc.conf

Enter the following lines (without the information in [brackets]):
S:supervisorpassword [This will be the password the owner will use for management.]
D:9823742:2:mainpassword [The format is port to use:number of users:password to use to connect.]
C:6667 [This is the default IRC port to connect to. Probably best to keep this 6667.]
X:default.vhost.com [This will be the default virtual host you want to use on the BNC bouncer (The one you will use most often on IRC).]
V:additional.vhost.com [Enter as many extra vhosts you'd like to be able to use on IRC here. For each vhost, create a line of V:blah.vhost.com.]
P:pid.bnc [Just leave this line alone. It is needed if you crontab your BNC.]
L:bnc.log [This is the name of the file BNC will log to.]
A:1:* [This will allow you to specify the types of IPs and amounts allowed to connect to your BNC. Probably best to leave it as it is.]

Exit pico by typing CTRL-X and save it as bnc.conf.

Now start your BNC by typing:

You're all set!

Look to the left menu on this site for downloads of other bouncer programs.