JWT Authentication in Django

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This tutorial will give an introduction to JSON Web Tokens (JWT) and how to implement JWT authentication in Django.

What Is JWT?

JWT is an encoded JSON string that is passed in headers to authenticate requests. It is usually obtained by hashing JSON data with a secret key. This means that the server doesn’t need to query the database every time to retrieve the user associated with a given token.

How JSON Web Tokens Work

When a user successfully logs in using their credentials, a JSON Web Token is obtained and saved in local storage. Whenever the user wants to access a protected URL, the token is sent in the header of the request. The server then checks for a valid JWT in the Authorization header, and if found, the user will be allowed access.

A typical content header will look like this:

Authorization: Bearer eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsI

Below is a diagram showing this process:

he Concept of Authentication and Authorization

Authentication is the process of identifying a logged-in user, while authorization is the process of identifying if a certain user has the right to access a web resource.

Read full tutorial at code.tutsplus