Normal search engines aren’t great people finders: they can tell you if someone has a website or a public profile, but they’re not so good at telling you where they are, what they’re up to or who they live with. If you’re trying to trace a long-lost pal or estranged relative or just want to be sure that someone new in your life is who they claim to be, a people search finder is a much better option.
As you’ll see from our pick of people finder websites, there are big differences between these services. Some can tell you about someone’s employment but not their education, some include social media and others can also tell you about a person’s business interests and assets. For employment services, you will need to use a background check service.
Keep reading as we pick out the very best people finder search engines out there.
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Best people search services - at a glance
Every people finder service presents information in its own way, but we really like the way Intelius does it. The service displays people in a spidery graph that makes it really easy to see how the different people in a report are connected. The underlying data’s good too, and it includes educational history – a handy extra data point if you’re trying to track someone down or check their resume.
There's also the option to signup for Intelius Premier Plus, which allows for unlimited searches every month. This allows you to search for anyone by name or phone number as often as you want, and is available for $29.95, though Intelius currently runs a promotion that allows you the first month at half-price, making it more affordable and accessible for trying the service out.
TruthFinder is a versatile service that offers a range of different background checks, but its major strength is this product’s ability when it comes to finding people – and providing a whole host of data on them.
TruthFinder searches cover both public and also private databases, and are capable of extracting information from various sources including social media, criminal records and more.
There are also some interesting extras such as self-monitoring tools that give you a chance to see what other people might be able to look up on you. Or there’s a reverse phone number lookup which you can use to identify who is behind a given phone number, with a full report provided on that person, not just their name.
TruthFinder also benefits from a slick and easy-to-use interface, and overall, this is one of the better people search finder services out there. You’ll pay for the quality results on offer, mind, as this is far from a cheap service, although if you subscribe monthly, and use TruthFinder a fair bit, it’ll likely be worth the outlay.
Instant Checkmate appears to search every conceivable register - it can even tell you whether registered sex offenders live nearby. It features a very comprehensive set of reports covering criminal history, marriage and assets, although the site design places heavy emphasis on what seems like a never-ending procession of slow progress bars and lurid warnings about the content you might uncover. A bit of a put off, but we can see why it would urge caution.
There are two different price plans available, both offering unlimited reports. The monthly plan comes in at $34.78 a month, which is expensive compared to other services but this is potentially one of the most comprehensive services, allowing you to search not just criminal records, address, and phone information, but also additional details such as for bankruptcies and weapons permits. There's also a quarterly plan that offers the same service but at $83.47 in total means you save over $20 over the three months over the normal monthly plan.
If other lines of inquiry have drawn a blank, somebody’s employment history can help you track them down – and it’s useful to search for your own work history if you’re updating your resume and you’re a little hazy on the dates. BeenVerified is particularly good at uncovering people’s work history, although the downside is that property or business asset data is an optional, paid-for extra.
Pricing currently starts at $22.86 for a monthly plan allowing for unlimited background reports, contact information searches, phone and email and address lookups, as well as criminal record searches.
However, like other providers, you can purchase a quarterly plan that offers the same service at a discount over three months and costs $44.58 a quarter, a saving of around $30 for the service over the monthly plan.
PeopleFinders offers a number of services for finding people, using over 43 billion public records to provide information on over 250 million Americans.
While the primary advertised service is for background checks, other options are available, too. For example, you can run an address lookup to find not just who may have lived at a property but also history relating to the property which can be good for purchasers looking to move home.
Another option is the ability to search a database of criminal records, allowing you to pick through court records for anything from traffic violations to arrests and what for. Additionally, you can run less onerous checks such as reverse phone lookups so that you can identify callers before you even pick up the phone.
US Search may be a good option for some folks, but be aware that marriage data is only currently available for 11 US states. It’s not the best service in any particular category, but as an overall package it’s impressive value for money.
Prices for an individual report start from $2.45 for a single report on a single individual. However, there are plans available for more regular reporting which can also include social media use as well as public records.
For a monthly plan the cost is $19.95 a month and that allows you to run unlimited searches. If you think you may need more time then you can purchase a quarterly plan for unlimited reports, which comes in at $49.85 per quarter and offers a saving of $10 on the monthly plan.