Strapi v4 / mongodb

I developed an app with strapi backend as it was easy to use, handles authentication, easy api/endpoints so http requests straightfoward. Now deploying online has become a big issue. Was using heroku but asalesforce are abandoning the learning community next month. Looking at Render as an option but so far not getting through.

Having used Mongodb on a couple of projects i thought maybe i could use Strapi with Mongodb or just scrap Strapi. My app needs a simple backend, user table and projects table. No relation necessary. But i want authentication and deploy to web, no cost.

Should i use Mongodb with Strapi or without? What authentication/ api endpoints are available in mongodb?

ok so I ditched bug-ridden strapi and trying to get that on another platform other than heroku was a non-starter. Tried Render - waste of time, buggy, poor support. Ditched Render.
Now, Im battling Mongodb. Followed the plain js demo on mongodb npm package and that works nicely.

But Im using Vite 3.1.0 and Svelte 3.49.0 and ES6.
With a clean app.svelte just showing a header, as soon as I add
"import {MongoClient} from ‘mongodb’
I get error
“Module “util” has been externalized for browser compatibility. Cannot access “util.promisify” in client close.”
Hours chasing solutions online and NOTHING worked. So tried Mongoose (am I allowed to say Mongoose on here? Well Mongoose it is.
So I put import mongoose from ‘mongoose’ into my clean App.svelte and IT WORKS! Having spent days now chasing errors, the simplest thing that works is ELATION!
Success builds success, right? I pushed ahead with
with another error …
[HMR][Svelte] Unrecoverable HMR error in : next update will trigger a full reload
Uncaught TypeError: mongoose.connect is not a function.
Since when? Works fine in vanilla js.

More hours chasing solutions which dont work.

Very long story short, I was trying to avoid using a local express server (vanilla js) to interface with Vite/Svelte - which works, but neither mongodb npm package nor Mongoose allowed me to reach that goal.

Anyone out there in a similar situation with a solution? Even if it means an earlier version of Vite/Svelte?