How to connect
First, get an IRC client for your computer, tablet or phone. For Linux, try irssi, HexChat, WeeChat. For Windows, try HexChat. For Mac, try Colloquy, Textual, XChat Azure. Then, set up a new connection as follows. Server: irc.tf. Port: 6697, SSL enabled. Channel: #. If you have a server password, enter that too. Depending on how your system is set up, the URL ircs://irc.tf:6697/%23 might get you there quicker, since it summarises all these settings.