HexChat connects to ZNC as if it was connecting directly to an IRC server, but really ZNC is proxying one or more IRC servers on your behalf. This is particularly useful to me because I can stay connected and maintain the chat log - ZNC is on a server that's up 24/7.
It's quite rare that I add a new IRC network, but when I do I have to recall how ZNC works. So, this page is a summary to remind me what's needed, it may be of interest to you.
Give it a name that lets you know it's going through the bouncer (e.g. Myserver_Freenode)
Edit the settings as follows: -
In the servers tab, enter the host and port that ZNC is bound to (e.g. znc.example.com/32767).
In the panel below: -
* Untick 'Use global information'
* Nickname 1st & 2nd choice to be known on the network.
* Username: this is the ZNC username defined in the <Users> section of znc.conf, with the network name appended (e.g. kevinsan/tildes)
* Password: this is the ZNC password stored (salted & hashed) in znc.conf
* Tick 'Connect to this network automatically'
* Tick 'Use SSL for all the servers on this network'
* Tick 'Accept invalid SSL certificates'
Then click 'Connect' and you should connect to the bouncer. Of course, you will not yet be connected to any IRC servers in the network.
This is done with the /ZNC commands, for example: -
* /znc addnetwork tildes (this actually adds a network as named in 'Username' above)
* /znc addserver irc.tilde.chat +6697 (note the + denotes SSL)
* /znc saveconfig
* /znc connect (this is normally done automatically when you connect to ZNC via HexChat)
You may be invited to register your nickname so you can keep it between sessions: -
* /msg NickServ REGISTER mybadpassword firstname.lastname@example.org
This will likely need to confirm your email via a code sent to your email address: -
* /msg NickServ CONFIRM 32zvt7sQg
And that's it, you'll be on your new network with an allocated nickname. Just /join #achannel till your heart's content!