Persistent vs Non-Persistent Cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC

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Persistent vs Non-Persistent Cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC

In this article, I will discuss the Differences Between Persistent and Non-Persistent Cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC Applications. Please read our previous article discussing How to Encrypt Cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC.

What are Persistent Cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC?

Persistent cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC are used to store data across multiple sessions of a user. This can be useful for saving user preferences, authentication tokens, and other information that needs to persist even after the browser is closed. 

What are Non-Persistent Cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC?

A non-persistent cookie, also known as a session cookie, in ASP.NET Core MVC is a type of cookie that is stored temporarily in the browser’s memory and is deleted when the browser is closed. Unlike persistent cookies, which have a specific expiration date and remain stored on the client’s device between sessions, non-persistent cookies exist only for the duration of the user’s browsing session.

Differences Between Persistent vs Non-Persistent Cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC

In ASP.NET Core MVC, the primary difference between persistent and non-persistent cookies lies in their lifespan and how they are managed within a user’s session. Here’s a detailed comparison:

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Definition:
  • Persistent Cookies: Persistent cookies, also known as permanent cookies, remain stored on the client’s device even after the browser is closed. They have an explicit expiration date set, and they persist until that date is reached or until they are manually deleted.
  • Non-Persistent Cookies: Non-persistent cookies, also known as session cookies, are temporary and are deleted when the browser session ends. They do not have a specific expiration date set.
Lifespan and Expiration
  • Persistent Cookies: Have a specific expiration date set. Remain on the user’s device after the browser is closed until they expire or are deleted. 
  • Non-Persistent Cookies (Session Cookies): There is no expiration date. Automatically get deleted when the browser session ends. 
Implementation in ASP.NET Core MVC

Persistent Cookies: Implemented by setting the Expires property in CookieOptions.

var cookieOptions = new CookieOptions
{
    Expires = DateTime.Now.AddDays(7) // Expires after 7 days
};
Response.Cookies.Append("PersistentCookie", "Value", cookieOptions);

Non-Persistent Cookies: Created without specifying an Expires property.

Response.Cookies.Append("SessionCookie", "Value");
Use Cases
  • Persistent Cookies: Suitable for long-term information like user preferences, language settings, or authentication tokens (with proper security measures). It helps to provide a consistent user experience over multiple visits.
  • Non-Persistent Cookies: Ideal for data relevant to a single session, like temporary form data or items in a shopping cart in an e-commerce application. Enhances user experience without requiring long-term data retention.
Security Considerations
  • Persistent Cookies: Higher risk as they remain on the client’s device longer, potentially exposing data to unauthorized access if not properly encrypted and secured. You should use secure flags (Secure, HttpOnly) and consider encryption for sensitive data.
  • Non-Persistent Cookies: Generally considered more secure due to their temporary nature. It requires secure handling, especially for sensitive session data.
When should you use persistent vs non-persistent cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC?

In ASP.NET Core MVC, the decision to use persistent versus non-persistent cookies primarily depends on the specific requirements of your application, particularly in terms of user experience and security. Here’s a breakdown of when to use each type:

When should you use persistent cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC?

Persistent cookies, also known as permanent or stored cookies, are stored on the user’s device for a predetermined period or until they are explicitly deleted. They are used when you need to remember information or preferences over multiple sessions. Use cases include:

  • Remember Me Feature: When users log in to a website, a “Remember Me” option is offered to keep them logged in for longer. This is convenient for users who frequently return to your site.
  • User Preferences: Storing user preferences like themes, language settings, or other customizable aspects of your website. Persistent cookies ensure that these preferences are remembered across different sessions.
  • Tracking and Analytics: For longer-term tracking purposes, like understanding user behavior over time or for remarketing purposes.
  • Shopping Carts in E-commerce: To remember the items in a user’s shopping cart across different sessions if they haven’t completed the checkout process.
When should you use non-persistent cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC?

Non-persistent cookies, also known as session cookies, are deleted when the user closes the browser. They are ideal for:

  • Session Management: Maintaining user state within a single session, like user authentication in a secure environment. The session ends once the user closes the browser, and the cookie is discarded, which can be a security benefit.
  • Sensitive Data: Temporarily storing sensitive information that should not persist beyond the current session. This reduces the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive data.
  • State Management for Single Visit: Used to store temporary information like form data during a multi-step process within a single visit.

In the next article, I will discuss Sessions in ASP.NET Core MVC Applications with Examples. In this article, I try to explain the Differences Between Persistent and Non-Persistent Cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC Application. I hope you enjoy this article on Persistent vs Non-Persistent Cookies in ASP.NET Core MVC Application.

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