2020-08-02

TL;DR "Why JWTs Suck as Session Tokens"

This is summary of https://developer.okta.com/blog/2017/08/17/why-jwts-suck-as-session-tokens

TL;DR

  • their contents (the JSON data inside of them) are usually not encrypted. This means that anyone can view the data inside the JWT, even without a key. JWTs don’t try to encrypt your data so nobody else can see it, they simply help you verify that it was created by someone you trust.
  • The server can validate this token locally without making any network requests, talking to a database, etc. This can potentially make session management faster because instead of needing to load the user from a database (or cache) on every request, you just need to run a small bit of local code. This is probably the single biggest reason people like using JWTs: they are stateless.
  • why JWTs suck.

    • Size, For example Storing "abc123:" demands 51 times larger when using JWT compared to Session.
    • Advantage is not that big. the stateless benefits of a JWT are not being taken advantage of. you’ll likely be talking to the cache server / database regardless of whether or not you’ve got a JWT
  • Conclusion

    • Plain old sessions!
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