Axios vs XMLHttpRequest

Fri Apr 14 2023

3 min read

If you're working with web development, you may have encountered these libraries for making HTTP requests.

Both Axios and XMLHttpRequest are widely used for sending and receiving data from servers, but they have some differences worth exploring.


Axios is a popular JavaScript library for making HTTP requests from the browser or Node.js. It is built on the XMLHttpRequest API and provides a simple, easy-to-use interface for sending and receiving data.

One of the benefits of using Axios is that it has built-in support for handling request and response interceptors. This can be useful for handling errors or modifying request headers, among other things. Additionally, Axios automatically parses JSON response data, making it easy to work with JSON data.

Simple GET request

We will be demonstrating how to use Axios to make HTTP requests to the Famous Quotes API, which is available on the Rapid API hub.

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import axios from "axios";
const options = {
headers: {
'X-RapidAPI-Key': 'your-api-key',
'X-RapidAPI-Host': ''
params: {
category: 'all',
count: '2'
axios.get('', options)
.then(response => console.log(
.catch(error => console.error(error));


XMLHttpRequest (XHR) is a JavaScript API that enables sending and receiving HTTP requests from a web browser. XHR allows asynchronous communication between the browser and the server, without requiring the page to reload every time a request is made.

One of the main benefits of using XHR is its flexibility and fine-grained control over the request and response headers, making it a popular choice for web developers looking to implement custom HTTP requests.

Simple GET request

Here is how you can make a GET request using XMLHttpRequest.

const data = null;
const xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();
xhr.withCredentials = true;
xhr.addEventListener("readystatechange", function () {
if (this.readyState === this.DONE) {
});"GET", "");
xhr.setRequestHeader("X-RapidAPI-Key", "your-api-key");
xhr.setRequestHeader("X-RapidAPI-Host", "");

Differences between Axios and XMLHttpRequest

When comparing Axios and XMLHttpRequest, there are a few key differences to consider.


Firstly, the syntax and API of the two libraries differ significantly. Axios uses a more modern, promise-based syntax that is easier to read and more intuitive for developers familiar with modern JavaScript frameworks.

On the other hand, XMLHttpRequest relies on a more traditional, event-driven API that can be more verbose and less intuitive for some developers.

Browser compatibility

Another important difference to consider is browser compatibility and ease of use. Axios is designed to work smoothly with modern web browsers and includes built-in support for features like Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) and automatic serialization of request and response data.

On the other hand, XMLHttpRequest can be more difficult to use with modern web frameworks and require additional workarounds to enable features like CORS. However, XMLHttpRequest is still widely used and is supported by most modern browsers, making it a reliable option for many web developers.

Wrap up

Axios and XMLHttpRequest are both powerful tools for sending and receiving HTTP requests in web applications. While Axios offers a more modern and intuitive syntax and built-in support for many modern web features, XMLHttpRequest remains a widely used and reliable option with a more traditional event-driven API.

Ultimately, the choice between the two libraries will depend on your specific needs as a developer and the requirements of your project.