JWT(JSON Web Token) : Implementation with Node

JSON Web Token is an open, industry-standard RCF 7519 method for authorizing transaction or requests between two parties. Basically, JWT used for the authorization purpose. We can authorize through session, cookies and third-party authorization.

Source — [http://robmclarty.com/blog/what-is-a-json-web-token](http://robmclarty.com/blog/what-is-a-json-web-token)Source — http://robmclarty.com/blog/what-is-a-json-web-token

Steps What happened basically:

  • The user sends the login credentials. If succeed, the server sends back a JWT token.

  • The sent JWT token to have to be stored in local storage.

  • Now, the client takes JWT and makes a request by putting JWT in Authorization header for data for the user.

  • The server verifies the JWT. If successful then sends the data back to the client.

  • After every request from the client side made by putting JWT in the authorization header.

  • On logout, just destroy the JWT locally.

Creation of JWT

There’re a lot of packages but we are going to use jsonwebtoken for creating JWT and for checking purpose we can use passport’s JWT strategy package. So, we have to install passport, passport-jwt and passport-local. Now, It’s time to create JWT. Let’s assume that we have some user login credentials. Let’s make a passport module for passport functions:

    const jwt = require('jsonwebtoken');
    const app = require('express')();
    const passport = require('passport');
    const LocalStrategy = require('passport-local').Stratergy;

    // Use Local Startergy for authenticating user 
    passport.use(new LocalStrategy(
      function(username, password, done) {
        User.findOne({ username: username }, function (err, user) {
          if (err) { return done(err); }
          if (!user) { return done(null, false); }
          if (!user.verifyPassword(password)) {
            return done(null, false);
          return done(null, user);

    // Apply passport authentication for getting user payload app.post('/login', (req, res, next) => {
      passport.authenticate('local', (err, userData) => {
          if (!userData || err) {
            return res.status(404).json({
              msg: 'Account not available. Please Sign Up.',
          req.logIn(user, (error) => {
            if (error) return next(error);
            return res.json({
              token: jwt.sign({user: userData}, 'secret'),
        })(req, res, next);

When we get the token on the client side. Then it should be an encrypted string like this.


This string contains three parts as you see above. Let’s break them down:

  • ** Part — Contains constructing algorithm and type of token
  • Normal Part — Payload data it is created
  • * Part — Signature (base64UrlEncode(header) + ‘.’+ base64UrlEncode(payload))

Applying JWT for Authorization

Now, we have the JWT at our client and now we have to save that in our local-storage for getting the data throughout the application. Now after that, if we want to get the data of the user then we have to make a GET request by passing that JWT in authorization header:

    fetch('/user', {
      method: GET,
      headers: {
        'Authorization' : `Bearer ${localStorage.getItem('jwt')}`,

Now, we are going to use the passport-jwt for verifying the token that is coming from the client-side.

    const JwtStrategy = require('passport-jwt').Strategy;
    const ExtractJwt = require('passport-jwt').ExtractJwt;

    // Using passport-jwt stratergy
    passport.use(new JwtStrategy({
      jwtFromRequest : ExtractJwt.fromAuthHeaderAsBearerToken(),
      secretOrKey :'secret',
      function(jwt_payload, done) {
        User.findOne({_id: jwt_payload._id}, function(err, user) {
          if (err || !user) {
            return done(err, false);
          if (user) {
             return done(null, user);

Now, we implemented our passport middleware and we have to just call the passport authentication method on whatever endpoint we want to authenticate.

    app.get('/user', passport.authenticate('jwt', { session: false }), (req, res) => {
        user: req.user

Finally, we implemented JWT using Node. Check the code gist from here. Connect me through Github and Twitter.