The Best People Search Sites in 2023
Updated: September 12,2023
Have you ever wanted to reconnect with an old friend or look up extended family members you lost touch with over the years? Or perhaps you’re thinking of going on a blind date and want to make sure the person you’re meeting isn’t a creep?
Let’s face it, you can’t go full James Bond on them and hire detectives and drones with HD cameras, as there are more civilized, and, what’s more important, actually legal means. Whatever the case, you’ll need a service that can help you find information on a person, and no, we’re not talking about spying on Facebook users.
In recent decades, social research tools have advanced so much that surveys, background checks, and even people research have become quite easy. With a little help from the best people search sites, you can run a check on new neighbors or family members, or even find a long-lost relative.
As more and more people are in need of people search sites, we’ve scoured the internet and identified the best apps that will help you find a person or their contact details. Be warned though - people finder sites listed below claim not to be subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which means the information they provide cannot be legally used for tenant and credit screening purposes, to name a few.
4. Instant Checkmate
4. Instant Checkmate
- Very detailed results
- Single search and subscription
- Data visualization
- Costly monthly plans
There’s probably no people finder more famous than Intelius. Almost exclusively at the top of all the industry’s “best of” lists, this is a service with quite a reputation. And that reputation is absolutely deserved.
The site offers three search options: name, phone number, and reverse address search. Searching by phone is the good old White Pages method, and it works exactly as you’d expect. Both name and address searches require inputting the person’s city and state. This site can only access free public records of people in the United States, but it’s the best people search engine when it comes to the search process and analyzing results.
Once initiated, the search is interactive and may ask you to pick certain criteria to narrow down the results. It does take a while but provides the most precise results of all the websites on this list. The data is presented in a spider graph and contains detailed information, including employment and educational history. Intelius is especially popular among recruiters for that exact reason. Aside from the aforementioned searches, you can run a reverse address lookup or pull up a criminal and court records database.
Granted, this is not a free people finder service. But there is a five-day trial that allows you to access reports for just $1.99. If you need to run just one simple search, it’ll cost you $3.95 to access the results page. One full individual background check is $39.95, but our recommendation is to subscribe to the monthly plan. It costs $29.63, and it includes one full check per month and unlimited address and name verifications. The price might be steep, but it’s expected considering how detailed the data is.
We’ve already touched upon the user experience, so let’s elaborate. The interactive search prompts you with clear questions that are relevant to your search. If you need technical help, Intelius support is available Monday through Friday via phone and email.
- Streamlined and easy to use
- Email searching
- Free for basic searches
- Unnecessary scare tactics
If you’re looking for the best US people search site, look no further than TruthFinder. Yes, its name is perhaps needlessly bombastic, but this is a great people lookup tool nonetheless. The truth is not only “out there,” it’s available to you in just a few presses of a button.
So, in how many ways can you search for the truth? Well, the basis of the system is its quick name search all across the US. If you need something different, you can also search by address, phone, or even email.
This site offers a rather unorthodox feature called the “dark web search.” No, it doesn’t really go to that underground part of the internet. Instead, it runs a free email lookup for data breaches containing your email address.
Without paying a dime to TruthFinder, you can run searches for some basic information. This is a great incentive to test the website since most competing services ask for money upfront without letting customers try out the platform.
Once you subscribe to a monthly plan, not only will you get more options for searching, but the results will also go into much greater detail. It pretty much covers any digital trace a person has left and is presented in a neat document where everything is logically sorted. Price-wise, it’s on par with Intelius and other competitors.
While the user experience is smooth and there is no doubt this is one of the best people search engines around, we did notice some fear-mongering within search pages. For example, before you run a deep web search, the site bothers you with stats on how many accounts get stolen each year. It’s silly and a tad unprofessional - there’s no reason to scare off customers like that. Other than that, there really are no downsides to this platform. You can even use it on the go thanks to its mobile app.
- Accurate results
- Helpful guides
- Unclaimed property search
- Additional premium data charges
BeenVerified has been operational for more than a decade. Founded in 2007, this site searches through public records and presents them in a neat, easy-to-read format. With BeenVerified, you won’t need to dig through many websites, and it’s one of the best people search sites for that reason alone.
This site has a very simplified people search process. Simply input the person’s first and last name, and then, through the background check app, you can narrow down the search based on many parameters.
One of the most impressive features is how the website doesn’t require strict spelling. Of course, exact spelling helps, but it’s nice to know you don’t have to be 100% accurate with each piece of data you’re feeding into the algorithm.
We’re here to find the best people search website, but what if you need to track vehicles? BeenVerified can help you learn more about that used car you saw at a dealership - you’ll just need to input the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and off you go. Another unusual search option is for unclaimed property. You might have some unclaimed tax returns that you don’t know about, and this tool can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
As for subscriptions, BeenVerified uses a traditional monthly membership model that costs $26.89 and provides unlimited searches. If you know you’ll use this website for a longer period of time, the $52.44 quarterly subscription will save you plenty. There’s a catch, though. Unlike other top people search sites, BeenVerified charges an additional $15 fee for premium data per report. That means that if you want to get absolutely everything with every search, you’re at risk of running up a huge bill on your credit card.
Reporting tools are worth it alone. This is one of those rare websites that offer PDF exporting for every search. That’s very handy for offline reading, especially if you live in an area with a spotty internet connection. Other than that, it’s a really user-friendly website that offers a slew of helpful documents, so you can read up on and learn more about people searching.
- Deep data analysis
- Simplified search
- Fast and accurate
- Lots of extra charges
Instant Checkmate might sound like a website for chess geeks, but it’s one of the fastest people search sites like TruthFinder. As a matter of fact, the site shares a lot of similarities with the aforementioned engine, including its visuals and tools. The reason for that is simple - these are sister companies sharing both backend tools and databases they pull the data from.
That said, the search process isn’t exactly the same at both sites. Here, you don’t even need to start with the person’s full name; you can simply start by selecting the first letter and searching through some common last names. Reporting tools also include PDF exports, with the addition of a timeline view that gives a better overview of the person’s history.
While we said that TruthFinder is the best people finder based on the user experience alone, we don’t share the same sentiment for Instant Checkmate. Yes, you can search public records and whatnot, but the onboarding process is tedious. You can’t just sign up for an account. Instead, the site forces you to run a search first. After that process is complete, you’ll be able to create an account and start using the full potential of this people directory.
This site is a bit more expensive than TruthFinder. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as some services that TruthFinder charges for are completely free on Instant Checkmate. However, you’ll still have to deal with regular upsells.
Detailed reports might be included in the subscription, but PDF exports and deep web searches are charged extra. This is still one of the best search engines to find people, though. The only real choice boils down to what you personally need more: exporting documents to PDF or having everything exclusively online but including deeper data analysis.
- Easy to use
- Automated report updates
- Limited number of monthly searches
Spokeo was founded in 2006. Originally, it was only able to find social media profiles but has evolved over time into a fully-fledged people finder app. This California-based company uses deep web crawlers to collect data from public records and boasts about having a database with more than 12 billion records.
It’s also a no-frills website. Here you can simply pick a search then run it with no unnecessary complications. Even better, there are none of those scare tactics employed by some other people search engines; this is just a clean website with a straightforward user experience.
You can do a name, address, or email search, as well as a reverse phone lookup. The results come up pretty fast; in fact, this is one of the fastest engines we’ve encountered during our tests, which is why it’s no surprise that some famous companies like Forbes have featured this service.
This site, like pretty much all of them in this business, operates on a subscription-based model. The monthly plan costs just under $14, so it’s cheaper than any other service we’ve included on this list. But despite being one of the most affordable people search sites, unfortunately, there are some additional fees involved.
You get just basic search results in reports via Spokeo. Accessing criminal records, some historical records, and PDF exporting costs extra. On top of that, the site limits the number of monthly searches you can run. Getting unlimited access costs $21 per month on top of the subscription you’re already paying for. Basically, it ends up costing the same as other people finder websites.
Luckily for Spokeo, the user experience is impeccable. We didn’t run into any problems while using the address finder and could also search social networks by using emails. The customer support team works seven days a week and will gladly help you if you run into any issues.
Our Picks: The Best Sites to Search People in 2023
- Instant Checkmate
The Best People Search Websites - Our Methodology
The most important thing about search engines is, well, how the search is initiated. You might have to provide a lot of information from the get-go, or you might need to add specific criteria to help the algorithm narrow down the results.
So what happens if you don’t know some basic details, such as the person’s zip code, or only know their phone number? We analyze the process of searching and inputting the initial data. Basically, we’re looking for a great user experience that allows you to find people using several different parameters.
Considering there’s a lot of information to go through, speed is also a crucial feature when choosing the best people finders. How quickly a website can complete a full search is, therefore, one of the biggest factors in determining how good of a service it provides. Nobody wants to wait 10 or 15 minutes for results when a competing site can provide them instantly.
Another key factor in determining which search sites are the best is how the results are presented. Since all of these people search services pull their information from public records, the biggest difference between them is what databases they use.
A good results page should include full address, criminal records, social media accounts (if any), and marital status. The more detailed, the better, which is why a free people finder probably won’t check all those boxes but will rather provide more basic information. Finally, the information has to be current and precise; otherwise, the service doesn’t serve much purpose.
There are very few free people search sites on the market, and those come with limitations. Of course, nobody wants to overspend, so we’re looking for the most affordable options here. Pricing models vary drastically, ranging from single purchases to monthly subscriptions. Some engines charge differently for an address lookup according to whether you order a simple or advanced report. We look at all the options and try to find the best value among them.
Last but not least, the best people finder service should offer the best possible user experience. That doesn’t just mean that the website should be easy to navigate and use - which of course, it should. There should also be someone you can contact in case issues arise.
We look for contact information and check what customer support options are available at what times. Ideally, companies nowadays should offer 24/7 support, especially if they’re catering to customers across a range of time zones. We also contact each website’s customer support team with a set of inquiries and analyze the response times and how well the questions are resolved.
Now that we’ve identified the best tools to find people online, we need to address another question: Why would you use these websites in the first place? Here are the most common reasons for using these search engines.
Everyone has that one friend they were close with in high school or college and want to reconnect with. Maybe they changed their phone number or email, or perhaps they moved across the country. What if they got married and changed their name? The sites we talk about can trace people and, thus, help you get in touch with them after many years.
Ever received a call from an unknown number and not felt comfortable taking it? With people search sites, free and paid ones, you can run a quick reverse phone lookup search to figure out who was calling you. This is a good option if a call-back is out of the question.
With the advent of apps like Tinder and Hinge, online dating has never been so popular. Unfortunately, with this increased convenience comes a much greater risk of meeting unsavory characters. To play it safe and avoid a nightmare scenario, you can run your potential date through one of these sites before you ever meet them in person.
While not even the best people search sites will be able to replace dedicated tenant checking tools, they’re still a worthy ally when you’re renting out an apartment. You can do a criminal records search to vet potential tenants. Just be aware that you’ll need to use an Fair Credit Reporting Act-compliant background check company like GoodHire to do this.
Identity theft is no laughing matter. With people search services, you can look up your own phone numbers and other personal information to check if there are any discrepancies, or worse, if your identity has been misused. These tools usually allow you to request the removal of personal data, too.
Frequently Asked Questions
That would be Intelius. During our extensive research, this site ended up providing the most detailed report and precise results for each US search. It gives you not only work and financial history but also the social media presence of the person you’re searching for.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is legislation put in place to regulate consumer reporting agencies supplying information used for tenant and credit screening, insurance, and related purposes.
Under the FCRA, credit reporting agencies must provide accurate information to customers, who then use the reports to make employment, tenant screening, credit, and similar decisions. People finder sites such as Intelius, TruthFinder, BeenVerified, Spokeo, and Instant Checkmate claim not to be subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
In our experience, TruthFinder is the best option if you need to search for people but don’t want to subscribe to a service immediately. This site offers free basic searches that take just a few clicks and is more comprehensive than Google, Facebook, or other common tools. Even when you opt for services you need to pay for, it is still an affordable people search site.
If you know which platforms they use, you can try the search bar integrated into that platform. We highly suggest any of the best people search sites from our list for very detailed reports. With these tools, you can find someone’s complete online profile that goes well beyond just a single social media website.
PeekYou isn’t completely anonymous, unfortunately. This website picks up user data, but there’s an option to request the removal of information from its database.
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