After nearly 6 years of running Irssi behind GNU Screen and Tmux, I've ditched it in favor of ZNC. Don't panic, I'm still running Irssi locally, but this does allow be to try out different IRC clients, without being disruptive to the channels I'm in (including giving yet another assessment to WeeChat), and it will actually deliver the back buffer, unlike the irssi-proxy module.
Setting it up was rather painless. I installed it using my operating system vendor's packaging system, ran ZNC, and it asked my some questions out the gate. I accepted only defaults during this first run, but made sure that I loaded the web admin module, and bound to a port via SSL. After the installer finished, I logged into the web interface (securely), and began configuring ZNC the way I would like it.
The web interface is easy to use. It is loaded with plenty of options and features, and the layout is clean and intuitive. One thing that I learned quickly was how users are setup. Unlike Irssi, where you setup network definitions for the network you want to connect to, then assign nicknames based on those networks, with ZNC, a username IS a network. So, because I connect to multiple IRC servers, I need a username (and password) for each. So, setup a username, tell it the server you will be connecting to, set other options, such as buffer backlog, and save. Do this for each server you wish to connect to. Lastly, poke a hole in your firewall for your clients to connect through, and you're set.
So far, I've been very pleased with ZNC. It's a solid IRC bouncer. And it's great to not need to setup an SSH tunnel to bind to Irssiproxy, so I can load local clients securely (this was a pain to setup on Android (which BTW, Yaaic is a SOLID Android client)). Suspect more posts about ZNC on this blog.