(I think this started with the upgrade to the latest mIRC version but not 100% certain, it's been stressy here as it is for all of us with what's going on in the world. It's been going on for ~2-3 weeks or so. And I have bad insomnia, which is not helping.)

I cannot get onto any of my usual IRC servers reliably (FreeNode, EFNet, etc.) through mIRC. The web clients I've tried seem to connect just fine, though. Annoying. mIRC rarely will connect, but almost 100% of the time it drops off the server as soon as I try to join channels on said servers. Been using mIRC since Win 3.1 days so it's not anything TOO stupid, I hope!

Win10 laptop, AVG as AV and MSE for firewall. The firewall's set up properly to let mIRC through. mIRC 7.61, the latest.

I have tried quite a few things (ipconfig /flushdns, various IRC SSL & non SSL ports, asked for help through the web IRC clients) but it's just NOT usually connecting & if it does, isn't being reliable at all.

Messages I see are akin to,

* Connect retry #31 chat.freenode.net (+6697) (dns pool)
* Unable to connect to server (Connection timed out)

on up through 99 tries, then it gives up. Not very rewarding LOL