Node.js vs JavaScript – Difference between Node and JavaScript

Node.js vs JavaScript – Difference between Node and JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language that is lightweight, object-oriented, and implements a standard called ECMAScript. It was developed in 1995. Node.js is a runtime environment for executing JavaScript code outside the browser. It was created in 2009.
We will discuss all the differences between JavaScript and Node.js to resolve your dilemma but first, let’s review them both individually, NodeJS vs JavaScript.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a programming language used for building dynamic HTML pages. JavaScript runs on the browser that’s why it is called client-side scripting. But with the help of Node.js, we can also run it on the server. It was released in 1995, initially named LiveScript.

Every browser has a JavaSript engine that converts JavaScript code into machine code that the computer can understand. It is a scripting language. Different browsers use different JavaScript engines: MS Edge uses Chakra, Chrome uses V8, Firefox uses SpiderMonkey and Safari uses JavaScriptCore. The V8 JavaScript engine built for Google Chrome is the fastest, just-in-time compiler with no interpreter.


  • It works on the client side. For eg- While using the website, when you interact with something, you send a request to the server which gets processed, and in return, you get a response.
  • It is open-source. This makes it flexible, fast, and lightweight.
  • Cross-compilation is possible in JavaScript.
  • It can be used in both the frontend and backend.
  • It is versatile with efficient performance.
  • It is used everywhere on the web


  • It has slow bitwise operations
  • There is limited use of libraries
  • It supports only single inheritance
  • There may be security issues
  • Different browser interpretations
  • You are more likely to commit some mistakes as it is a dynamic language

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s VS JavaScript engine. It is a JavaScript running on the server. JavaScript runtime environment is just the environment your applications are running on. In 2009, an idea came to the mind of Ryan Dahl(Google Engineer) that why not run JavaScript outside the browser, so he took VS engine and embedded it in a C++ program and called it Node.exe which later on became Node.js.

Before Node.js –
HTML + CSS + JavaScript —> Frontend
PHP + SQL —> Backend

After Node.js –
HTML + CSS + JavaScript —> Frontend
Node.js + SQL —> Backend

Node.js is neither a framework nor a language or library. It is simply a JavaScript runtime environment. Node.js is used when you’re dealing with I/O bound, data streaming, and real-time chat applications. Node.js works on a single thread using non-blocking I/O calls. It supports tens of thousands of concurrent connections and optimizes throughput and scalability in applications with many I/O operations. All of this makes Node.js applications very fast and efficient.


  • Node.js is non-blocking. When you request one data that will take 10 seconds to complete, till then Node.js will not wait and you can request more. It accepts multiple requests at the same time.
  • It is a lightweight framework
  • It is cross-platform with high processing
  • Learning Node.js is a long time investment as full-stack developer earns a lot
  • It is asynchronous and event-driven
  • It is reliable and scalable


  • You have to install the Node.js dependencies of an existing project to run it locally
  • It has a lack of consistency
  • It cannot be used in applications that are CPU intensive
  • It does not enable multi-threading programming
  • APIs frequently change which makes developers adjust their existing code
  • The growing demand for Node.js has also increased the lack of number of professional Node.js

Fun-fact ?
In 1995, Netscape wrote a program called ‘Netscape Enterprise Server’ which allowed developers to run JavaScript on the server but it was not that successful.

Difference between Node.js and JavaScript

Now that we’ve reviewed the basics, advantages, and disadvantages of Node.js and JavaScript, let’s deep dive into how they’re different and what makes them unique.

It runs outside the browserIt can be run only in the browsers
It is mainly used on the server-sideIt is used on the client-side for frontend development
It runs only in V8 engineIt can be run on any JS engine
Its a bridge to run JavaScript on the serverIt is a web apps programming language
It is a JavaScript runtime environmentIt is a lightweight, object-oriented programming language
Node.js doesn’t have the ability to add HTMLJavaScript can add HTML within
Companies like Netflix, Walmart, Paypal, Linkedin, Trello, Medium, eBay, etc use Node JsCompanies like Google, Shopify, Udacity, Groupon, Okta, Instacart, etc use JavaScript
Uses C,C++ and JavaScriptWritten in C++


I hope you have understood the differences between Node.js and JavaScript. You should first learn JavaScript and then go for Node.js.

Thanks for reading!

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