1. Overview & Concepts
  2. How our authentication works

auth overview

When a user visits your frontend application, your frontend can make a request to PropelAuth to determine if the current user is logged in. If the user is logged in, you will receive a JSON Web Token (JWT) access token and the user’s metadata. For more information on JWTs, view our blog here. Once you have the user’s access token, your backend can validate and identify the token’s owner. This validation is done entirely on your backend and does not need to make any requests to PropelAuth. Access tokens are short-lived, and our libraries will refresh them both periodically and when the user switches tabs or reconnects to the internet.

auth frontend

A secure HTTP-only cookie is created once a user logs into your hosted authentication page. This cookie allows PropelAuth to identify logged-in users. In your production environment, we require you use a custom domain to avoid third-party cookie issues for your users. Browsers like Safari, for example, will block cookies across domains. For this reason, we include custom domains in all of our plans.