Unique Identifiers: UUID vs NanoID

Unique Identifiers: UUID vs NanoID

Razvan Statescu's photo
Razvan Statescu

Published on Nov 1, 2021

2 min read

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I think every developer used unique identifiers at least once in their life. You can use those to generate a primary key in a database, a unique filename, etc.

In this article, I'll compare the popular UUID with the rising start NanoID.

UUID vs NanoID

UUID

This is one of the most popular libraries to generate unique identifiers right now.

  • It's small in size (483 bytes)
  • 11.6k starts on Github and over 59 million weekly downloads on NPM
  • It has zero dependencies
  • Supports for CommonJS, ECMAScript Modules and CDN builds
  • Supports for all major browsers (including IE 11 😅)
  • It's secure and well documented

Quickstart

Install

npm install uuid

Generate UUID

ES6 syntax

import { v4 as uuidv4 } from 'uuid';
uuidv4();

CommonJS syntax

const { v4: uuidv4 } = require('uuid');
uuidv4();

NanoID

NanoID is a tiny, secure, URL-friendly, unique string ID generator for JavaScript.

It's not as popular as UUID but it has grown very fast in the last period and looks very promising. It has 14.5k starts on Github right now (more than UUID).

  • Very small in size (130 bytes - minified and gzipped)
  • No dependencies
  • 2 times faster than UUID
  • Safe (it uses a hardware random generator)
  • Shorter IDs (21 symbols) than UUID (because it uses a larger alphabet)
  • Available in 19 programming languages
  • Supports modern browsers, Node.js and React Native

Quickstart

Install

npm i nanoid

Generate NanoID

import { nanoid } from 'nanoid'
cosnt id = nanoid()

Conclusion

I've recently started using NanoID in my projects and it's working very well. I like the fact that the strings are shorter.

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