When comparing IRC vs Wire, the Slant community recommends Wire for most people. In the question“What is the best team chat software?” Wire is ranked 9th while IRC is ranked 14th.
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.
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.
Every notable IRC client supports mentions - notifying you when your name is mentioned in the chat.
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.
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 IRC networks are not centralized
You can choose your favorite server for an IRC network.
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 Upcoming IRCv3 will provide missing features
Pro Libre/open source
Pro End-to-end encryption
Pro Clean, modern interface
Pro Swiss legislation
Registered in Switzerland.
Pro Completely free for private use
Check out their pricing. It cannot be cheaper for secure private communication.
Pro Intuitive user interface
Wire's user interface is quite intuitive to use, still it has everything required for a complete experience. Settings are very clean and allows you to turn on/off some features which might be disturbing for some, like link previews and emoji conversion.
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.