7 Best Open Source NIDS


    In today’s world, every organization wants to prevent breaches in their network to protect their valuable data. If this data is not protected by any means then it can lead to some highly tangible losses for an organization.

    Since many businesses today are working majorly on data, therefore, maintaining the security of the networks is their primary aim.

    Moreover, with the increase in data breaching activities, ransomware threats and online attacks these intrusions are growing day-by-day.

    With growing technologies, the cybercriminals are using newer methods of creating a fake and legit environment through which they can gain access to a vast amount of data.

    Here comes in the role of NIDS which stands for Network Intrusion Detection System.

    NIDS is considered to be the best network security tool present, to defend and grant security to an organizations’ data and network.

    NIDS also helps in monitoring the system which also helps an administrator in detecting all the malicious activities and preparing them to take actions in accordance.

    Here are the Top 7 Network Intrusion Detection Systems

    Security Onion

    Security Onion is an open-source NIDS based on Linux. This tool is very popular for its intrusion detection system.

    The network security monitoring and log management system of this tool boasts a lot about it. The tool also provides visibility to network traffic and also, it alerts the developer/admin about suspicious activities.

    The tool also provides a flexible environment for the users which helps them in tuning up network security. Moreover, the company also states that they provide regular updates to the tool to improve its security features.


    OpenWIPS-NG is also a free and open-source network intrusion detection and prevention system which is totally wireless.

    This tool relies totally on sensors as they help in capturing wireless traffic and also sending the data for further analysis to the server.

    These sensors are very helpful as they respond to all the network attacks that are going to happen.

    Here, the servers are used to perform the role of aggregators i.e., they are used to store all forms of data generated from the sensors, analyze it, and then respond accordingly.

    This tool can also be used from plugins.


    Snort is also an open-source network intrusion detection and prevention tool which possess the capability to handle real-time traffic analysis.

    This tool was created in 1998 by Martin Roesch, which makes it one of the oldest NIDS tools present.

    This gives an advantage to the tool as we always say “Old is Gold”. this tool is widely accepted as a tool for detecting malicious threats in the business environment.

    The tool can also detect various networking attacks like CGI attacks and OS fingerprinting attempts, etc.

    Also Read: What’s the Difference Between MSSP & MSP?


    Zeek (formerly known as BroIDS) is used for conducting forensic investigations. Zeek can help an organization in recording HTTP sessions with URLs, responses from the server, requests from DNS, SSL certificates, etc.

    Zeek, an open-source NIDS, also consists of an event engine that helps in analyzing the network traffic with the help of C++ when anything fishy is detected by the systems.


    Suricata is another one of the open-source NIDS system.

    This system is relatively faster than others present in the market and is highly robust.

    The tool boasts about its capability to capture real-time intrusion & monitor the network security of an organization.

    The tool helps a developer/admin in capturing, collecting, decoding, detecting, and providing output to the organization.

    Suricata’s network traffic processing is one of the best because of which its capability to detect malware activities is very good.


    OSSEC is an open-source NIDS which is free of cost. This tool performs various tasks such as Windows registry monitoring, time-based alerting, and providing an immediate response.

    The cross-platform architecture of the OSSEC system allows multiple systems to be monitored by admins.

    The tool also provides real-time as well as configurable alerts.


    Open Source Tripwire is an open-source, free, and a host-based network intrusion detection system. The tool helps the admins to focus on detecting the changes that have been made into the system files.

    Here, the tool acts smart and scans all the files which are present in the database. When a change is made to the file or any intrusion happens, the tool compares the results, analyses the changes made and quickly alerts the user about them.

    Tripwire also uses cryptographic hashes which are very helpful in detecting the changes made into the files.


    As we all know that data security is very important to every business. NIDS tools are very helpful in providing this security.

    They keep track of all your activities and keep you informed about the intrusions made by the hackers into your system.

    The above-mentioned tools are not compared with each other. They all are the best open source NIDS tools present in the market. It entirely depends upon your requirement, as to which one would you like to opt for.

    Also Read:

    Top 8 Host-Based Intrusion Detection System Tools

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