Analyzing the performance of Zip Code API

Recently I come across ZipCodeAPI.com, an initiative from RedLine13 company. As the name implies this is an API for zip code distance, radius, location and many more. In this article, we are going to analyze the performance of zip code API.

What is Zip Code API?

Zip code API calculate distances, radius, and locations for the US zip codes.

What is the purpose of zip code API?

For instance, in your web application, you need to collect your user’s address. In a typical scenario, user has to enter their address manually. They might enter it wrong or they can simply put some dummy value.

If your application uses zip code API, user has to enter only the zip code. City, State, Latitude/Longitude, and Time zone will be auto filled.

What is the cost of zip code API?

It is free to use. You have to register your application to start using it. You can call this API up to 50 times per hour from your registered application.

If you want to use more than 50 requests per hour, you need to upgrade your plan.

Features of Zip Code

Following APIs are also available in this package:

  • Calculate distance between zip codes
  • Convert location to zip codes
  • Convert zip codes to location
  • Find Close zip codes
  • Find Zip codes in radius
  • Custom SQL search

I have manually tested the functionality of all the APIs. It is working as intended. As a performance guy, I measured the performance as well. Please note that this is only to study the performance behaviors of this API. I have not performance tested this API. It is not recommended to test any applications in production environment.

Before I start my experiments, I measured my bandwidth using speedcheck.org. I always use physical LAN connection to my laptop for better performance. I got ~90 Mbps download speed.

Let us dive in.

Steps to measure the performance of zip code API

Follow the below steps carefully. I have not removed any cookies or cache from my chrome browser.

Step 1

Launch zipcodeapi.com in Chrome browser

Step 2

Press Ctrl Shift I to launch chrome dev tools

Step 3

Click on Network tab

Step 4

Enter a zip code in the text box. E.g. 60070. Instantly you get the results as shown in the below figure. It was lightning fast for me.

Zip Code API Performance Enter Zip Code
Zip Code API Performance Enter Zip Code

Now it is time to analyze the performance of this API call. Below is the time line view of our API call.

Timeline View of ZIp Code API
Timeline View of Zip Code API

Maximum time spent on Waiting (TTFB) and Initial Connection which is 49.91 milliseconds and 33.53 milliseconds.

Waiting (TTFB) is time to first byte which is 49.91 milliseconds. It is a waiting time for the first byte of the page being received by the browser. It comprises of socket connection time, time taken to send the HTTP request, and time taken to receive the first byte of the page.

Initial connection should be in milliseconds for better performance. In this case it is 33.53 milliseconds which is fair enough.

Below is the GET request for the call we made.

https://www.zipcodeapi.com/rest/js-9qZHzu2Flc59Eq5rx10JdKERovBlJp3TQ3ApyC4TOa3tA8U7aVRnFwf41RpLgtE7/info.json/60070/radians

Below is the response we have got from the server.

{
“zip_code”: “60070”,
“lat”: 0.734848,
“lng”: -1.53465,
“city”: “Prospect Heights”,
“state”: “IL”,
“timezone”: {
“timezone_identifier”: “America/Chicago”,
“timezone_abbr”: “CDT”,
“utc_offset_sec”: -18000,
“is_dst”: “T”
},
“acceptable_city_names”: [{
“city”: “Prospect Hts”,
“state”: “IL”
}]
}

Below is the timeline view of distance between two zip codes 60070 and 60090 which is 1.83 miles and the response received by 134.97 milliseconds.

Timeline View of two zip codes
Timeline View of two zip codes

I suggest you to read terms of use before you get started. Overall zip code API is pretty swift and responsive. If you are in search of APIs, you can try above.

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Zip Code API

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