When you’re looking detailed information on an individual, you need the best people search sites on your side. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about the most popular and thorough tools available for undertaking a background check.
There are a multitude of reasons to look up an individual’s information online these days. For some, it provides peace of mind about the history of new acquaintances, neighbors, friends, and family members. Other people might have been contacted by someone they don’t know through phone or email and want to find out who is behind the message.
People search sites are ideal for personal searches such as this, but they’re generally not regulated for use in more formal situations. They can’t be used for screening potential tenants or employees, for example, or to verify a person’s eligibility for a loan. If those are the types of searches you’re looking to perform, you’ll need FCRA-compliant tools to do so.
What are the best people search sites?
Overall we found PeopleFinders and Instant Checkmate to be two of the most robust options available. PeopleFinders is fast and easy to use, providing flexible pricing options and very affordable one-off reports. Instant Checkmate is only available via subscription, but this includes more information such as social media handles, social activity, and dating profiles.
Also on the list is Whitepages, which is the only option that provides a free search for basic information. If you go with US Search, be prepared to wait a while for the report to be compiled, but you’ll get a snapshot of what’s included in it before you buy. TruthFinder is another lengthy search process, but provides one of the most detailed criminal background histories.
The best people search sites in 2022
One of the main benefits of PeopleFinders is that, unlike some of their competitors, they offer both one-off report purchases and subscription packages for unlimited reports. For one-off reports, the basic information version costs $1.95 per report.
The more detailed version of the report costs $9.95 and includes extra background information such as criminal and property history. The monthly subscription for unlimited basic reports costs $24.95 per month, while a subscription for unlimited detailed background reports is $29.95 per month.
With PeopleFinders, you can also use email addresses to search for someone, which is useful if this is all the information you have to go on.
Unlike some of its competitors, the tool provides you with a full list of names to look through before you purchase the report. It also verifies what information is available to be pulled from databases into your report so you know what you’re paying for before downloading.
According to the PeopleFinders website, the tool should not be used for formal screening processes such as potential tenants or employees. PeopleFinders reports also do not include any social media handles or email addresses.
PeopleFinders is a great, cost-effective option if you only need to perform a one-off background check or if you only have an email address to begin your search for an individual.
Read our full PeopleFinders review.
Searching for individuals through Instant Checkmate provides users with some of the most thorough and detailed reports available. Reports are divided into the typical categories you’d expect, such as criminal records, relatives, and financial history.
But with Instant Checkmate, you also get a detailed breakdown of a person’s online activity, including social media posts and dating profiles. Instant Checkmate will tell you if the person has a weapons permit and even if they appear on a government watchlist.
Report downloads are unlimited, so you can perform checks on anyone in your life, from one-off encounters to lifelong friends or estranged relatives. As long as you have a name or phone number to get you started, the search is very simple.
It’s not until you’ve performed the relatively lengthy process of creating the background report that you’ll see the pricing options. Instant Checkmate is only available by subscription. The subscription costs $35.12 for one month or $28.09 for three months. There is no option to pay individually for one-off reports.
Conducting a search also takes significantly longer on Instant Checkmate than other providers. However, the helpful pop-up questions and confirmations that appear at each stage of the search process do help to narrow down the results significantly.
If you’re looking for unsavory social media activity or want to check if someone is active on dating sites, Instant Checkmate is a great option.
Whitepages is one of the only people finder tools that offers a free search option. While the information you can get under the free lookup is basic, you will get access to a person’s full name, landline phone numbers, current address, and age range.
With a premium report, you can view relatives and associates, criminal records, financial records such as bankruptcy filings and foreclosures, weapons permits, birth records, marriage and divorce filings, and more.
The pricing for Whitepages is a little complicated and sometimes more expensive than competitors depending on what you need. You can purchase a one-off background report that includes criminal history and public record information for $9.99. Or you can purchase a monthly subscription at $19.99 to access up to 20 background reports per month.
If all you need is detailed contact information (including all phone numbers and address history), you can purchase a Premium Contact Info subscription. The $4.99 monthly subscription provides up to 20 contact information reports per month. Or you can opt for a $19.99 subscription to access up to 200 contact information reports per month.
Lastly, you have the “Enhanced Background Report” at $29.98 per report (no subscription available). These are the most up-to-date background reports you can get as they involve up-to-the-minute criminal records retrieval via a court runner.
Overall, Whitepages is a good all-rounder people finder option, whether you need an affordable way to retrieve basic contact information or the most recent public record data possible.
The main benefit of US Search is that it pulls a wide variety of data across multiple categories. For example, you’ll get social media information, activity, and photos, along with detailed contact information, including their cell phone number.
Once you’ve completed a search and selected an individual to get their full background report, US Search gives you a handy snapshot of what will be contained in the report before you sign up to pay.
The information provided in the reports is highly detailed. For example, the report provides the case number and offense description of any criminal records that appear in the search.
The search portal for US Search is not as fast or efficient as other options on this list. You need to go through a few different screens to narrow down your search, and it’s not a particularly polished interface.
Notably, there is no option at all to purchase a single report for a one-off payment. Users must sign up to pay $19.86 monthly, and billing recurs automatically each month. Cancellation can’t be done through the website. You have to call the customer service department to cancel your subscription and billing.
However, if you’re looking for detailed insight into someone’s social media activity, such as accounts, posts, and media, you can’t get much more in-depth than US Search.
A people search through TruthFinder leverages county, state, and federal records to provide a fairly robust background check on individuals.
Users can uncover financial and criminal background information through a quick search with useful prompts to help the tool narrow down your search and find the right person. TruthFinder scans records such as sex offenses, felonies, bankruptcy records, misdemeanors, traffic offenses, arrest records, and more.
Once you select a person from the search results, TruthFinder will provide a warning if there are serious criminal offenses contained in the report. If you’re looking for background information on someone close to you, this can be good to know before downloading the full report. If the details within the report are graphic in nature, TruthFinder also prompts users to confirm they are 18 years of age or older.
If you want to look up your own records on TruthFinder, the tool enables you to claim a profile as your own and correct any inaccuracies you might find there.
While finding the right person is relatively quick, waiting for the report to compile once you’ve selected the individual takes a long time. TruthFinder requires answers to various questions throughout the process and long loading bars. Even once all questions were answered, we waited for four minutes before a report was ready for download.
You cannot purchase one-off reports from TruthFinder. Users must sign up for a monthly subscription of $28.05 per month for unlimited reports without seeing details of what the search has uncovered before buying.
Although TruthFinder doesn’t have many features that distinguish it from the competition, the website is easy to navigate and provides a better user experience than some others on the list.
The Intelius user interface makes it easy to search quickly with the information that’s available to you, whether that’s a name, phone number, or address.
With Intelius, you’ll get a lot of information about people connected to the person you have searched. Simply check a box beside the name of a family member or associate of the person to include their criminal background information in your report, too.
You can also access an interactive map that provides data relevant to all of the individual’s previous known addresses.
Intelius is not the speediest service. If you want to do a reverse phone lookup, the search is quite quick. But for full background reports, you’ll need to click through several screens and wait a few minutes while the report is prepared.
Like others on the list, Intelius does not provide one-off report purchases. You must subscribe at $22.86 per month for unlimited background reports.
If you want information on a person’s network as well as their individual background, Intelius provides it all in a simple interactive report.
BeenVerified offers a couple of features that you will struggle to find on other tools. One of the most useful of those is the unclaimed property search. You can use this feature to find out if there are any unclaimed assets, property, or money in your name across different states.
The tool also offers a really wide range of starting points for your search. You can use name, phone number, address, email, or vehicle license plate details to get started.
The reports from BeenVerified are well designed, with the option to click into different sections for further detail on specific records.
However, after the initial search is completed, you’ll have no insight into what information BeenVerified has found to report to you until you purchase a monthly subscription package at $29.99 per month. And if you want to cancel your subscription and the recurring monthly billing, you’ll have to phone or email BeenVerified’s customer support team.
Overall, BeenVerified is easy to use and provides some unique features on this list, such as vehicle registration lookups and unclaimed property searches.
How to choose the best people finder for you
Choosing the best people finder depends on a few different factors. Since most providers offer similar (if not identical) services, the decision can often come down to pricing or user interface design. But there are a few factors that make some solutions more ideal for specific scenarios.
If you’re looking for relatively basic information and want the most affordable option possible, then Whitepages is certainly worth a look. For those who want to perform detailed background checks regularly and want an affordable subscription, US Search is a good option.
If you’re starting with more obscure information such as an email address or a license plate, then opt for a provider that enables you to perform these types of “reverse” searches, such as BeenVerified or PeopleFinders.
Many of these providers offer mobile apps with the same level of functionality as their websites. But if you’re looking for a reliable option that works across both iOS and Android devices, PeopleFinders is a solid choice.
Lots of people turn to the internet these days to look up new personal connections, such as a new roommate or a prospective date. In that case, the super-detailed online activity report from InstantCheckmate (which includes dating profiles) is ideal for getting peace of mind.
Another common reason to turn to people finder tools is looking up old friends and family with whom you’ve lost touch. You might remember their old address or still have a phone number for their childhood landline, for example. In that case, interactive visuals of an individual’s family network as provided by Intelius can provide the context you need to find who you’re looking for quickly.
Further reading on people search sites
Budget may be a barrier to conducting your searches for individuals online; learn how to find someone for free on the internet in our step-by-step guide, and find out which premium people search platforms offer the best free people search sites.