Skip to main content

Use JWT Auth to Protect Your APIs

You may want to protect your routes or services by using API authentication. With the authentication requirement, API7 Cloud will only forward API requests with valid authentication credentials. Other requests (without credentials or with a wrong one) will be rejected and get a 401 Unauthorized response.

JWT Auth is an API authentication method that requires API clients to provide a valid JSON Web Token in a request header, cookie or query string.

This guide will introduce using JWT Auth to protect your APIs when using API7 Cloud. You can also safeguard services as long as you configure the Service's authentication plugin (instead of a specific route).


API7 Cloud uses the Consumer concept to implement fine-grained API authentication, so please learn what is Consumer before you go ahead.

Prepare the Environment

Deploy Apache APISIX

Please refer to How to Deploy Apache APISIX to learn how to deploy Apache APISIX and connect it to API7 Cloud. In this guide, we'll deploy an Apache APISIX instance on Docker.

Create Service and Route

We'll create a service with the following details in this guide.

  1. The service name is jwt-auth-app.
  2. The path prefix is /v1.
  3. The HTTP Host is
  4. The upstream URL is

Besides, we'll create a route inside the jwt-auth-app Service.

  1. The route name is json.
  2. The path is /json (exact match).
  3. Accepted HTTP method is GET.

If you don't know how to configure a service and route, please refer to the Getting Started guides first

Configure Authentication Plugin on the Route

You need to enable the Authentication plugin on the json route as per the steps below:

  1. Enter the json route details page.
  2. Click on Add Plugin and select the Authentication plugin.
  3. Choose JWT Auth as the authentication method and fill out the form.

The default token header is Authorization, the default token query is jwt, and the default token field in Cookie is also jwt.

Authentication Plugin JWT Auth

In this case, we set the token position is Header and its name is Authorization.


The checkbox Strip Credentials controls if Apache APISIX should remove the authentication credentials before forwarding the requests to the backend. By default, it will be reserved.

Now let's try to access this route.

curl -H 'Host:' -i
HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2022 01:59:35 GMT
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Connection: keep-alive
Server: APISIX/2.15.0

{"message":"Missing JWT token in request"}

Since we don't take any credentials, Apache APISIX will reject the request.

Configure JWT Auth Plugin on Consumer

Now let's create a Consumer and configure the JWT credentials.

  1. The Consumer's name is oiloil.
  2. Add a credentials of type JWT Auth.
  3. Fill in oiloil_key as the key and click the random button to generate a secret.
  4. Check the base64 encoding and algorithm uses the default HS256Create JWT Auth Consumer

Since some systems can only use ASCII characters, base64 is a method used to convert data in non-ASCII characters to ASCII characters.

Generate JSON Web Token for the Consumer

Now let's generate a new JSON Web Token. You can enter the Consumer details page and click on the Generate JSON Web Token button to open the popup create window.

Generate JSON Web Token Button

  1. Set the token expiry date to expire on June 30, 2022. Note please select a proper time when you execute this step.
  2. Add two custom payload fields, user and age, values are oiloil and 18 perspectives.

Generate JSON Web Token Form

After clicking the Generate button, another pop-up window will appear with the successful prompts, you can click the Copy button to copy the token to the clipboard.

JSON Web Token Copy Modal


Please make sure to copy the token in the current pop-up window and save it, you won’t be able to see it again!

Test the Authentication

Let's send a request with the JSON Web Token.

curl -H 'Host:' -H 'Authorization: <Your JSON Web Token>'
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/json
Content-Length: 429
Connection: keep-alive
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2022 04:47:22 GMT
Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *
Access-Control-Allow-Credentials: true
Server: APISIX/2.15.0

"slideshow": {
"author": "Yours Truly",
"date": "date of publication",
"slides": [
"title": "Wake up to WonderWidgets!",
"type": "all"
"items": [
"Why <em>WonderWidgets</em> are great",
"Who <em>buys</em> WonderWidgets"
"title": "Overview",
"type": "all"
"title": "Sample Slide Show"

After taking the correct JSON Web Token, Apache APISIX will forward the request to the backend.

If we take a wrong JSON Web Token, the API request will be rejected by Apache APISIX.

curl -H 'Host:' -i -H 'Authorization: wrong token'
HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2022 04:49:20 GMT
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Connection: keep-alive
Server: APISIX/2.15.0

{"message":"JWT token invalid"}

You can decode your json web token at to verify that the token is carrying the correct data.

Decode JSON Web Token

What's Next Logo

API Management for Modern Architectures with Edge, API Gateway, Kubernetes, and Service Mesh.


API7 Cloud

SOC2 Type IRed Herring

Copyright © APISEVEN Ltd. 2019 – 2024. Apache, Apache APISIX, APISIX, and associated open source project names are trademarks of the

Apache Software Foundation