User:JustAnotherArchivist/hackint vs EFnet

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EFnet:

  • more decentralised
  • old
  • unstable (netsplits, server outages)
  • ridiculous channel, nick, and topic length limits
  • low channel join limits (i.e. how many channels you can join from one connection) on almost all servers; limit varies between servers such that a reconnect might cause join errors
  • varying degrees of IPv6 and TLS support depending on the server; no valid TLS certificates anywhere
    • At least one server (irc.colosolutions.net) does not support anything higher than TLS 1.0. This means that you cannot connect to it on current Debian systems, where OpenSSL is configured to enforce TLS 1.2+ by default.
  • no services
    • While there are bots to re-op people automatically, this does not work reliably. For example, the rDNS fails from time to time, especially when many people are reconnecting after a server issue. We've also seen cases where the identd connection failed on a reconnect. These change the hostname and username, respectively, which causes the user mask to no longer be recognised by the opping bots. There is no good way to work around this.
  • broken web chat (silent truncation of long messages)
  • Tor connections generally disallowed/banned (exact policy varying per server)
  • policy varying per server (e.g. no bots allowed on some servers)
  • no IRCv3 support, and unlikely to ever be added

hackint:

  • stable
  • services (automatic opping/voicing, proper access control for restricted channels)
  • security: TLS required, valid TLS certificates (one of the few IRC networks!)
  • Tor connections welcome
  • accessibility (XMPP etc., though that's apparently not working properly at the moment)
  • permissive policy (anything legal per German and Dutch laws is allowed)
  • backed by like-minded people (Chaos Computer Club)
  • (partial) IRCv3 support
  • not very old
  • operated by regional chapters of the CCC

Stability comparison over about 4 months (end of August to end of December), excluding network issues on my side:

  • EFnet: 8 disconnects, 68 netsplits of unknown total time because sometimes there is no proper rejoin of the split server; several server outages where everyone connected just suddenly times out, not easily trackable
  • hackint: zero disconnects, four netsplits totalling less than 10 minutes (574 seconds) and rejoining cleanly every time

These numbers are based on connections from a server at OVH in Canada. The EFnet connections were to Colosolutions (New York); the hackint servers are in Germany and the Netherlands, but the details aren't known.