When comparing IRC vs Rocket.Chat, the Slant community recommends Rocket.Chat for most people. In the question“What is the best team chat software?” Rocket.Chat is ranked 7th while IRC is ranked 9th. The most important reason people chose Rocket.Chat is:
Rocket.Chat is available for free. It's licensed under the MIT license with source code available on [GitHub](https://github.com/RocketChat/Rocket.Chat).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Open protocol
The IRC protocol is public and open, it is mature and stable, and has been implemented in numerous projects. This means that it can be used freely, for both open-source and commercial projects.
Pro Hundreds of avaliable clients
IRC has been around since 1988, so there is a ton of existing software to work with it. Everything from clients, to chat bots, to bouncers is already built.
IRC offers choice. Choice in clients (mobile, desktop, web), in scripts those clients run, in servers and features those servers have. You can even set up your own server.
Pro IRC networks are not centralized
You can choose your favorite server for an IRC network.
Every notable IRC client supports mentions - notifying you when your name is mentioned in the chat.
Pro Great historic importance
Twitter hashtags came from IRC channel names.
Pro No account necessary
No need to sign up for access, confirm your e-mail address. Just choose a nickname and you're done.
Pro Less distracting
Compared to other common solutions, IRC can be ignored when you are occupied doing something else. Most clients don't pester you with sounds or distracting visuals.
Pro Upcoming IRCv3 will provide missing features
Pro Free and open source
Rocket.Chat is available for free. It's licensed under the MIT license with source code available on GitHub.
Pro Supports a wide variety of authentication methods
In addition to the usual email / username + password combination, Rocket.Chat supports authenticating via Facebook, Github, Gitlab, Google, Linkedin, Meteor and Twitter accounts.
Pro Understands markdown better than Slack does.
Links work properly, for instance, with square brackets followed by parentheses.
Pro Native apps for all major desktop and mobile platforms
Rocket.Chat has native apps for macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android.
Pro Very active and helpful community
Pro Video conferencing support
Rocket.Chat supports video calls.
Con Poor multimedia support
Sending anything besides text is not easy or intuitive and depends on the client.
Con Complex and not user friendly
Con Advanced functionality is client-dependant
Con Assumes some level of prior knowledge
The features are not discoverable the way they are in other apps and services.
Con You have to "idle" to see what's going on
You will see a blank chat screen at first because there is no recent history kept on servers.
Con Can be addictive
Con Developer support is non-existent
Can't even create a clean Ubuntu VM with a working developer install. Unresolved dependencies; fails to build. Docs are terrible; actual devs don't respond to questions; error messages are near-opaque. DO NOT RECOMMEND.
Con Web client loses images
In chat rooms with images, before very long, images start to become empty boxes. Useless to pass around visual information
Con No theme customization
Con No chat audit for enterprise
Con Poor security implementations / protocols
Con No web browser support
Con Email required for registration
Con iOS app is poorly made
The iOS application is not native, being just a browser container. This means that the UX is quite poor, slow, buttons unresponsive. At this moment they do not provide a decent experience.
Con Android app is poorly made
The Android application is just a badly wrapped web-view which does not perform well and has no form of offline caching whatsoever.
Con Privacy settings are absent
Privacy settings for the server are absent, for instance, you don't have the ability to disable registrations, there's no way to control access to the chat.
Con Features not available out of the box
Con No way to block new registrations
Without the ability to disable registrations, there's no way to control access to the chat.