Official documentation

In most cases, packages and modules of a JavaScript project are added and loaded from the package.json file.

Difference between a package and a module, public and private

From the docs:

  • A package is a file or directory that is described by a package.json file.
  • A module is any file or directory in the node_modules directory that can be loaded by the Node.js require() function.

Unscoped packages are always public, like:

"devDependencies": {
  "nodemon": "^2.0.15"

Private packages are always scoped and scoped packages are private by default. This is an example of a scoped public package:

"dependencies": {
  "@google-cloud/functions-framework": "^3.1.0"

Private packages can be made with a paid account (user or organization) and they have a user or organization scope.