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How to use SSL/ TLS with Node.js

Node.js is a cross-platform runtime and open-source environment for performing JavaScript codes on the outer area of a browser. What one should and must remember is that Node.js is neither a programming language nor a framework. It is most commonly used for building back-end services. A Node.js file has an extension “.js”. Node.js is desirable to build real-time chats, collaboration tools, streaming apps, complex single-page applications, etc.

Table Of Contents-

  • Get more information about SSL, TLS, and HTTP.
  • Basic Communication
  • Generating certificates
  • Certbot & Webroot
  • Tightening it up
  • HSTS
  • DH Strong(er) Parameters
  • Conclusion

How to use SSL/ TLS with Node.js

Get more information about SSL, TLS and HTTP.

So, what is SSL? SSL is an abbreviation for Secure Sockets Layer, it is the standard technology for keeping an internet connection protected and safeguarding any sensitive data that might be sent between two systems thus, preventing criminals from reading or altering any information that is being transferred, which also includes potential personal details. The two systems can be server to server or a server and a client. What is TLS? Transport Layer Security is just an updated version of SSL. Although developers still use the term SSL instead OF TLS just because it is most commonly used. And finally; what is HTTP? HyperText Transfer Protocol or HHTP is the one that appears in the URL of a website when it is secured with an SSL certificate. It contains the details of the certificate which includes the issuing authority and the corporate name of the website owner that can be viewed by clicking on the lock symbol present on the browser bar. One of the common ideas that people have about using SSL/TSL is that it slows down the server and also is very expensive, which is most certainly not the truth.

From the viewpoint of a website that runs on a browser, one has to pass through these layers to reach the IP level:

  • 1. Client Browser
  • 2. HTTP
  • 3. SSL/TLS
  • 4. TCP
  • 5. IP

The shit from SSL to TLS rules out inter-operability, still the basic procedure, however, remains unchanged. There are 3 different encrypted channels.

  • The first one is public key infrastructure for certificate chains.
  • The second one arranges for public-key cryptography for key exchanges.
  • And finally, the third one is the symmetric channel. Here one has cryptography for data transfers.

HTTPS also is gaining more attention in the eyes of clients. The concerns for Privacy and security have always been around, but with on the rising amount of data that is now accessible online and the services that can now be provided, people are getting to a greater extent concerned.

Basic Communication

The process of a certificate’s validation; involves validating the certificate signature and its expiration. One also needs to verify if the chains they are using can be linked back to a trusted root. Finally, one needs to check to see if it has been annulled. There are devoted and reliable authorities in the world that grant such certificates. The order of an HTTPS handshake goes as follows: first, you start with the initialization from the client, which is then trailed by a message that has the certificate and the key exchange. Once the server sends its finished package, the client can then start the key exchange and the cipher specification transmission. At this instant, the work to be done by the client is completed. In conclusion, the server sanctions the cipher specification selection and ends the handshake. This whole sequence is self-sufficiently activated by HTTPS. So, we come to the question that what is needed to make Node.js work with SSL/TLS? Node.js automatically serves its content over to HTTP. Formerly, we had to create a private/public key pair, then send it to a trusted authority, pay them for it and perhaps wait in order to get an SSL certificate. Nowadays, Let’s Encrypt is used as it almost instantly creates and validates certificates, and that too free of cost.

Generating certificates

Certbot & Webroot

The TLS specification of SSL demands a certificate, so, Certbot by default generates a private/public key and also generates an SSL certificate for them. Whereas, Webroot not only does the same but also copies these certificates to the Webroot folder and also, authenticates your server by placing some verification code into a concealed impermanent directory.

Tightening it up


HTTP Strict transport security is a web security policy mechanism that alleviates the protocol, downgrades attacks, and cookie takeovers. HSTS successfully forces the browser accessing your server to direct all the traffic through HTTPS, which has a secure or not at all ideology.

DH Strong(er) Parameters

There are two different types of keys that are used for encryption; the certificate that one gets from the CA (Certification Authority) and the one that is created by the server for the key exchange. The default key (DH) makes use of a smaller key than the one that is used for the certificate. So, we create a stronger DH key and give it to our server that is secure to use.

And finally, one might think; why hire a Node.js developer?

A Node.js developer is well known for the tools and tricks to know; how to create all kinds of things, web applications, command-line applications, scripts for systems administration, all kinds of network applications, etc. The speed of development when a professional does it is one of the advantages of this tool. To be precise, a Node.js developer can be able to manage the interchange of data between the server and the users, they can develop all the logic for the server-side, define and maintain the central database with the assurance of extraordinary performance and responsiveness to the front-end requests. They also help to integrate the front elements that might be built by other developers working on the same project. You could check here for the Best nodejs development company.


In today’s day and beyond, there’s no justification to let go of HTTPS. The yet to come course is clearly evident; that HTTPS will be everywhere. In Node.js, one has lots of selections they can choose from for making the most of SSL/TLS. One can put out their websites in HTTPS, where we can create appeals to encrypted websites, and also we can give permission to otherwise untrusted certificates.

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