Example: JSON Web Tokens with Vanilla JavaScript

In this post we’re going to learn how to use JSON web tokens on the frontend with vanilla JavaScript and no libraries necessary. What you learn will be easily applicable to frameworks such as Angular, Angular2, Vue.js or similar.

In the last post we had a look at how to create an express app with jwt authentication.

Why No Framework?

I wanted to write a post simply illustrating how everything works and how easily this can be achieved without any frameworks in place. It’s just another layer of abstraction you have to learn if you’re just trying to build some sort of login for your web app.

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Express, Passport and JSON Web Token (jwt) Authentication for Beginners

This post is going to be about creating an authentication with JSON Web Tokens for your project, presumably an API that’s going to be used by Angular, Vue.js or similar frontend frameworks. We’re going to send the jwt with every request, meaning that we don’t rely on sessions, but simply put the token on every request we make to the API. This way you don’t have to worry about cookies, but you can save it in localStorage or other places on the frontend.

In essence this tutorial will go through:

  • creating a /login route to acquire a token
  • creating a /secret route, that only is available to logged in users with a JSON web token

If you’re curious about the final result and don’t want the step by step guide, check out the final jwt express gist.

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