I recently started a new job and have been asked to install and configure an IRC client so that everybody in the department can stay in touch--even when some people are working from home. This is totally new to me. Apparently MSN Messenger is only good for one-to-one communication, but we want to be able to have multiple people stay in touch all at the same time (I wasn't into MSN Messenger anyhow).

In any case, I am looking for suggestions as to what IRC client I should get. Doing a Google search, mIRC seems popular, but it comes with a 30-day trial. My co-workers suggested trying to find an older version of mIRC, that doesn't expire. It is good enough for our simple purposes--just texting each other back and forth. However, I am now wondering if it is worth the trouble--perhaps a completely different software might do the job. Chatzilla comes up in a lot of searches. Is that any good?

Any advice? I use Windows 7 and need just a simple IRC client.

I use Nettalk now that mIRC has tightened up their trial, and it works well for just chatting.

I use Chatzilla which is a free Firefox plugin. The mac also had X-Chat and X-IRC.