NisSrv.exe: What is it and Why is it Always Running?
Microsoft is known for keeping its Windows operating system as safe as possible, sometimes for their own sake. Microsoft Software Protection Platform Service is something that they run to prevent users from installing fake copies of Windows, protecting themselves in away. But when it comes to users, they have Windows Defender for protection and services like NisSrv.exe too.
Otherwise known as Windows Defender Antivirus Network Inspection Service, NisSrv.exe plays a key role in protecting your Windows computer from viruses and malware. If you don’t install a third-party antivirus solution, then this is the next best thing. So, if you notice this process running in the background and want to find more out about it, you’ve come to the right place.
About Windows Defender
Depending on the specific version of Windows 10 you have on your system, the Windows Defender feature maybe “Windows Security” instead, but both do the same things. When you first install the operating system, Windows 10 automatically installs the security features. Windows Defender is constantly running as a background process and does things like:
- Scanning new files to detect viruses and malware before they can infect the PC
- Ensuring that your firewall is up-to-date and that the network is safe
- Monitoring the PCs drivers to detect any errors that could result in security breaches
- Monitors internet browser activity to make sure the computer establishes no unsafe connections
Judging from the list above there aren’t any downsides to having Windows Defender on your computer. In fact, we’d consider this an effective alternative if you don’t install antivirus software like AVG, Norton, or Avast.
To view Windows Defender on your computer simply open Settings and click “Update & Security > Windows Security” and select “Open Windows Defender Security Center.” Here you’ll see the features above and others that this security feature provides. Users are free to look further into the settings for each feature. That said, we don’t recommend doing this unless you understand what these features do.
Windows Defender Antivirus Network Inspection Service
As part of Windows Defender is the Antivirus Network Inspection Service, more commonly known as NisSrv.exe. The purpose of this utility is to protect your computer from the malware that tries to infect computers through networks.
How does it work? This process is constantly running – it never stops and is barely noticeable in terms of resource consumption. When you connect to a network, all incoming packets go through the service which scans them for anything potentially harmful. If anything is found by the inspection, it will block the network packet from accessing your computer. As such, you may potentially avoid a computer virus.
One benefit to this simple service is that Microsoft updates it with all recent attack information. This means that the system can detect the newest viruses/malware and deal with them effectively. As straightforward of a feature as this might seem, its efficiently run inspection process makes it great at protecting computers.
Microsoft chose to add NisSrv.exe as part of Windows OS in 2012. This decision was in order for them to better detect networking vulnerabilities that result in malware or virus infections spreading. According to Microsoft, they are confident that this is the best way to protect computers when they find a network security flaw.
So, if they find an issue, they quickly release a Windows NisSrv update whilst their developers work on an official fix that will patch the network security issue. The number of users a security error causes is much lower with the inspection in place.
Common Questions About NisSrv.exe
It’s obvious that the addition of Microsoft’s Network Realtime Inspection Service is greatly beneficial to everyone. We understand that this will seem complex to most Windows users. To help you better know about this security feature, we done some research on the most common questions about NisSrv.exe.
1. Can NisSrv.exe Be Turned Off?
To some people, it may be disappointing to find out that no, this service isn’t one that you can disable. Windows 10 users don’t have the ability to disable it permanently, but given the security benefits it entails, there’s no reason to. If you have good reason to turn it off and are adamant about finding a way to, there are a few workarounds.
First, you can open up the Services menu and disable it. Doing this is only temporary because, in a short amount of time, Windows will automatically enable it again. Remember: this is a real-time network inspection feature, so as long as you have a network connection, Windows will continue to enable the inspection.
Another situation when the system disables NisSrv is when you install a third-party antivirus program. This is because most antivirus protection solutions have their own inspection processes that are similar to the built-in tool.
Real-time protection is the best way that viruses can be caught before inflicting damage. There are very few cases where turning it off can be beneficial, and we highly advise against it.
2. Does NisSrv.exe Breach Our Privacy?
We can appreciate how users feel about their privacy. With sites like Facebook and Instagram being subject to scrutiny over their privacy protection measures, everyone is overprotective of their personal data nowadays.
Don’t worry, though, NisSrv.exe does not directly collect data about you. The data packets that these service scans are not reported to Microsoft. Windows compares information about known viruses and malware to your traffic; that’s it.
However, there’s a catch. If you use Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer, there are settings which are on by default that send browsing data to Microsoft.
Disabling this can be done by opening the Windows Defender and going to “Virus & Threat Protection > Virus & Threat Protection Settings,” and turning off two settings:
- Cloud-Delivered Protection
- Automatic Sample Submission
Even though the inspection service won’t save or send information about your internet activity, these features will. Microsoft uses this information to improve their protection systems, but even so, people are uncomfortable with it.
3. Is NisSrv.exe Malware or a Virus?
Absolutely not! The Microsoft Network Realtime Inspection Service is part of every Windows installation by default. It is a legitimate virus prevention component that will not harm your computer.
Why do people often wonder about NisSrv being malware or a virus? Certain types of virus can appear as seemingly safe Windows processes. As a result, users typically don’t question the process or expect it to be a virus when it comes to NisSrv that is far from true.
You can double-check that this process is safe by opening the Task Manager, right-clicking on “Microsoft Network Realtime Inspection Service,” and clicking “Open File Location.” The install folder will appear, and you’ll notice that it is in a Microsoft directory, verifying its safety.
How to Check if NisSrv is Running
Checking your Windows computer’s services and processes is easy enough. Here are two quick ways to check if NisSrv.exe is being run:
- Step #1 – Use the keyboard combination CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open the Task Manager.
- Step #2 – Click “More Details” to expand the list and click “Name” to sort it alphabetically.
- Step #3 – Scroll down and below “Windows Processes,” you’ll see Microsoft Network Realtime Inspection Service.
- Step #1 – Type “Services” in the Windows search bar and select the top result.
- Step #2 – Click on “Name” so that the list organizes and it’s easier to locate the service.
- Step #3 – Towards the bottom of the list, you will find “Windows Defender Antivirus Network Inspection Service.”
Generally, the service will have the “Startup Type” automatic, but some users opt to have the manual setting instead. Double-click the service to change this.
Tech-savvy people will know the importance of installing an antivirus solution on their computers as soon as they set it up for the first time. Clicking on just one wrong link can download a virus which then spreads like wildfire. Windows Defender is an amazing way of preventing this and keeping users who don’t have antivirus software safe. Microsoft’s inclusion of NisSrv.exe is among the vast security measures they have in place with the Defender. After learning all about this service and how it impacts Windows’ functionality, you hopefully now have a better appreciation of what Microsoft does to keep their users safe from viruses and malware!