Chatopia recommends all users connect utilizing TLS (Transport Layer Security), also sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as SSL. (SSL = Secure Sockets Layer, the predecessor to TLS.) Most IRC clients offer this ability, and will generally refer to it as TLS or SSL.
All Chatopia servers listen on port 6697 for TLS connections. In addition, we’ve taken extra steps so that all servers eligible to be in the irc.chatopia.net rotation have that name as part of their certificate. On many networks, each server’s certificate only includes that server’s name, but does not include the round-robin name. Thus, connecting using round-robin results in certificate errors. We’ve fixed that.
So, why connect via TLS? TLS a) ensures you are talking to the server you think you’re talking to (nobody “in the middle” is hijacking your connection) and b) it encrypts your traffic between your system and the IRC server, so that it can’t be snooped on (or modified) by third parties in between you and us.
For information on how to connect using TLS, refer to your client’s documentation.