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Discussion on: JSON web tokens are NOT meant for authenticating the same user repeatedly: Use session tokens instead

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Derek Fowler

Once you get past the title of this article (which I think really needs to change to something more like "Which is best for a simple website: token or session auth?" but I get the desire to be clickbaity) the quote which I think is the core of this argument is:

This is why Awad (2019) says he uses session tokens, not JWTs, for a simple web app.

and that's pretty reasonable especially if, as the rest of the post suggests, you intend to implement the token auth yourself rather than using a service.

I think a big piece missing from this is that session auth is not a standard and is often a roll-your-own kinda deal where you need a user database with passwords and some session["isLoggedIn"] thing going on but token auth is a standard and the more usual way to implement that is to use a library or an external token service. The advantage here being that token auth is more secure by default and if you use an external service you don't have concerns about secure password storage, refresh tokens, etc someone else already solved that problem.

From that point of view token auth via an external service is actually a better choice for a simple website because you write zero code and zero code means zero bugs and that you can spend that time implementing the features you can't just buy off the shelf.

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