Browser vs. Node.js

JavaScript is a popular programming language used in both the browser and server-side applications. However, there are significant differences between how it works in the browser and in Node.js.

Global Object

In a browser, the global object is window, while in Node.js, it is global. For example, to log the global object in a browser, we can use:


To do the same in Node.js, we use:



We can import modules in the browser using script tags with the type attribute set to module and the src attribute set to the path of the module file. For example:

<script type="module" src="./module.js"></script>

We can then use the exported functions in our JavaScript code. For instance, we can import a sayHello function from a module called module.js and use it in our main JavaScript file as follows:

import { sayHello } from './module.js';

On the other hand, in Node.js, we use the require or import statement to import modules:

import { module } from './module.js';


The browser has a Document Object Model (DOM) that allows us to interact with HTML elements. For example, to change the text of an HTML element in the browser, we can use:

document.getElementById('elementId').innerHTML = 'New text';

However, in Node.js, there is no DOM, so we cannot access or manipulate HTML elements.

Server vs. Website

Node.js is mainly used for server-side applications, while the browser is used for websites. For example, we can create a simple server in Node.js using:

const http = require('http');

const server = http.createServer((req, res) => {
  res.write('Hello World!');


On the other hand, in the browser, we can create a website using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.


The console object works the same way in both the browser and Node.js. For example, to log a message in the browser, we can use:

console.log('Hello World!');

Similarly, in Node.js, we can use:

console.log('Hello World!');

JavaScript is used in both the browser and Node.js, but there are significant differences in how it works in each environment. However, there are also many similarities, and if you already know JavaScript, you should be able to quickly pick up Node.js. Understanding the differences and similarities between the two environments is crucial when developing applications in either of them.