Passport vs Passport JWT: Difference and Comparison

Authentication is a primary source of security for all web and mobile applications. Authentication is very helpful in identifying the user as genuine, and the user has the privilege to access the web applications.

Key Takeaways

  1. Passport is a widely used authentication middleware for Node.js applications, while Passport JWT is a specific strategy within Passport that uses JSON Web Tokens (JWT) for authentication.
  2. Passport provides a flexible framework for integrating different authentication strategies, while Passport JWT is one of many available strategies designed for token-based authentication.
  3. A passport is a foundational tool for managing user authentication, while Passport JWT is an implementation that focuses on using JWTs for secure and stateless authentication.

Passport vs Passport JWT

The difference between Passport and Passport-JWT is that Passport does not have any particular authentication method; instead, many ways are implemented using passports as strategies for authentication, whereas Passport-JWT is a strategy which uses web token methods using passports for authentication.

Passport vs Passport JWT
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Passport is a javascript which helps the developers by providing many authentication strategies and, on integrating, will provide secure authentication.

Passport is a middleware for authentication in Node, and Passport-JWT is a JWT strategy to authenticate the applications. Passport-JWT is the subset of passport javascript. JWT is a JSON web token, and it is implemented using passport javascript.


 

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonPassportPassport-JWT
PurposeIt is a middleware used in nodes for authentication. It is flexible and modular.It is a specific strategy implemented with the help of a passport to provide authentication.
MethodsIt does not have any particular method for implementation and uses the oAuth method.Use the JSON Web Token method to implement authentication.
StrategyPassport uses ‘local’ for a local system to authenticate the requests.Passport-JWT uses JWT strategy using the following syntax,
new JwtStrategy(options, verify)
ScriptThe passport-local strategy has both a return and done script. It expects to return data from the method.Passport-JWT does not need any return type; it has only done script.
CallbackThe passport-local strategy uses closures and custom callbacks. Before handling the user data, the req. The login () method should be called.The passport-JWT strategy also uses closures and custom callbacks, but here JWT token will get generated after user verification. Jwt.sign()

 

What is Passport?

A passport is a middleware used for authentication using a username and password. This is just a module in the node.js application involved in providing authentication, and it is modular and highly flexible.

Passport can be unobtrusively integrated into any express-based web application that can support ‘Connect’ style middleware.

It has its features, and that provides more benefits. The features are,

  1. Single sign-on with OpenID and OAuth
  2. More number authentication strategies, around 300+
  3. Choose the required methods and pick them based on the requirement.

Local authentication strategy provides authentication with the help of credentials such as username and password. It performs a verification call back, accepts the certificates, and finally provides the user calling done.

Passport. Authenticate uses ‘local’ for a local strategy to authenticate the requests.

passport
 

What is Passport JWT?

It is also one of the passport strategies to provide authentication using JSON Web Token. This passport strategy is also one among the many modules providing authentication service.

Using JSON web token, this module authenticates the endpoints. Moreover, this module without sessions secures the RESTful endpoints.

Syntax to install passport-jwt,

npm install passport-jwt

The authentication strategy is as follows,

new JwtStrategy(options, verify)

‘options’ is nothing but an object literal to manage the web token pulled from the request. To verify the incoming pass, passport-jwt uses jsonwebtoken.

There are numerous ways to pass the JWT token request. It is also modular and flexible, adding to that using the jwtFromRequest parameter, which is a user-supplied callback JWT that is passed as a request.

The callback mentioned above is referred to as the extractor. Passport-jwt.ExtractJwt provides many extractor factory functions.

  1. fromHeader(header_name) – Extractor will be created looking for JWT in the header
  2. fromBodyField(field_name) – Extractor will be made looking for JWT in the body
passport jwt

Main Differences Between Passport and Passport JWT

  1. Both Passport and Passport-JWT are modules to provide authentication using their strategies. They are easy and convenient to use for various reasons. The main difference between Passport and Passport-JWT is Passport does not have any particular method for implementation. In contrast, Passport-JWT is already a strategy that uses the JSON Web Token JWT method to implement authentication.
  2. Passport uses ‘local’ for one of its strategies named Passport-local to authenticate the requests, whereas Passport-JWT uses JWT strategy using the following syntax, new JwtStrategy(options, verify)

Difference Between X and Y 2023 04 06T174124.075
References
  1. http://www.passportjs.org/packages/passport-jwt/
  2. https://itnext.io/implementing-json-web-tokens-passport-js-in-a-javascript-application-with-react-b86b1f313436

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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22 thoughts on “Passport vs Passport JWT: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison table is really helpful in understanding the differences quickly. Very well-structured!

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