Open In App

Difference between HIDs and NIDs

Last Updated : 12 Jul, 2022
Like Article

Cyber security and network security have always been a topic of great concern and mostly in recent years and many technologies are developed to tackle the issue, Intrusion detection being one of them. Intrusion detection plays a vital role because it is not concerned with the authority or entity performing it but rather it monitors the flow of data and traffic in the network. It might be the case that an authorized person or an insider is trying to attack and harm the system and hence it becomes the need of the hour to try and develop technologies that are not dependent on such factors except for the security of the system network.

Intrusion detection systems are divided into 5 different categories, but here we will be looking at two IDS:

Host Intrusion Detection System (HIDS)

This intrusion detection system takes the host as a complete world in itself. It can be a computer (PC) or a server that can serve as a system in itself, analyzing and monitoring its own internals. It operates by examining the files/data incoming and outgoing from the host it is operating upon. It works by taking the snapshot of the existing file system from the one taken previously and comparing them against each other. If they are the same it means the host is safe and devoid of attack whereas changes might point towards a potential attack.


Advantages of HIDS:

  • Analyze what an application does.
  • Detects the attacks excluded from the network


  • Excluded from the network
  • Needs to be installed on every host spot
  • Passive in nature, so it just informs about the attack without doing anything about it.

Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS)

This intrusion detection system takes charge. Installation points of HIDS and NIDS of the entire network and is capable of operation in mixed and hybrid environments. If anything malicious or unusual is detected on the network or cloud or any other mixed environment it will initiate alerts. 



  • Detect attacks in the entire network
  • It can use the information collected from attacks on different hosts to detect attacks on a new or fresh host.
  • Host production/performance remains unaffected.


  • It might be slow as compared to the network speed.
  • Scrutinizing protected channels may possess difficult. 
  • It is also passive in nature.

Keeping aside the differences, both HIDS and NIDS are computer security systems that are used to protect systems from spyware, viruses, and other malicious file types, both HIDS and NIDS are passive in nature, meaning they are just used to detect intrusion and prevent it, operating in the read-only mode these detection systems just detect the malicious activity and report it the management servers via various network connections, the difference lies in the point of their installation.


Following is a table of differences between HIDS and NIDS:




1. Definition Host Intrusion Detection System Network Intrusion Detection System
2. Type It doesn’t work in real-time Operates in real-time
3. Concern HIDS is related to just a single system, as the name suggests it is only concerned with the threats related to the Host system/computer,  NIDS is concerned with the entire network system, NIDS examines the activities and traffic of all the systems in the network.
4. Installation Point HIDS can be installed on each and every computer or server i.e., anything that can serve as a host. NIDS being concerned with the network is installed at places like routers or servers as these are the main intersection points in the network system



HIDS operates by taking the snapshot of the current status of the system and comparing it against some already stored malicious tagged snapshots stored in the database, this clearly shows that there is a delay in its operation and activities NIDS works in real-time by closely examining the data flow and immediately reporting anything unusual. 


about attack

HIDS are more informed about the attacks as they are associated with system files and processes. As the network is very large making it hard to keep track of the integrating functionalities, they are less informed of the attacks 

Ease of 


As it needs to be installed on every host, the installation process can be tiresome. Few installation points make it easier to install NIDS
8. Response Time Response time is slow Fast response time

Like Article
Suggest improvement
Share your thoughts in the comments

Similar Reads