The best people search finder services and engines make it simple and easy to connect with friends and family you may have lost contact with.
People finder services use a lot of the same tools as background check services, by using public databases to search for specific information such as contact details. People finders are best served for finding people like long-lost relatives or school friends.
While they tend to only use public databases, they’re more specialized than generic search engines like Google so can help you surface more accurate results quicker.
Take a look at our roundup of the best people finders and you’ll notice a number of differences, such as whether they check for education and employment details, social media accounts, and business information. It’s important, then, that you determine what sort of information you need.
In truth, all people finders are limited in what they can do and none of them will serve as the ultimate stalking tool, but they will at least serve as a starting point for people looking to catch up with somebody from their family tree.
The best people search finder services and engines of 2023 in full:
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Instant Checkmate appears to search every conceivable register out there, and it can even provide a map in the specified area you are searching. The sorts of data it can pull up vary from criminal records, family relations and marriages, and even assets and properties. To that degree, it serves well as a background checker, too.
We were a little bit put off by how awkward it can be to get the results though, because there are seemingly countless slow progress bars and warning messages.
Pricing is a little on the expensive side of things, but this is reflected in how comprehensive the tool is. You can choose to pay monthly or pay for three months in one go to save a bit of cash.
Read the full Instant Checkmate review (opens in new tab).
The underlying data that lays the foundation for what Intelius can uncover is great, and includes some bits of data that other sites don’t seem to, like education history.
It’s how it presents this data that we’re most fond of. For example, a spider-like graph visually illustrates how different people may be connected. That said, you’re faced with multiple barriers before you get your results, including parting with some of your own details to create an account and a pretty lengthy wait.
Pricing is pretty much in line with what other companies charge, and like others, you can commit to longer terms to get savings. This time, however, it’s just a two-month plan. Still, the percentage saving is fairly respectable.
Read the full Intelius review (opens in new tab).
TruthFinder is a versatile service that offers a range of different background checks. The major strength is this product’s ability for finding people - and then surfacing a range of data on them. It uses various public databases and even checks in on social media accounts.
One of our favorite features has to be the self-checking tool, which shows you what others may be able to learn about you. With this information, you can notify the relevant sources of any inaccuracies.
The interface is clear and simple to use. This, combined with its extensive feature list, makes it one of the better ones out there to use in our opinion. You’ll pay for the premium, though, because pricing is on the higher end of average.
Read the full Truthfinder review.
As the name suggests, US Search is at its most useful in the US where there are different data protection regulations compared with other counties like the European Union.
It’s one of the earliest tools in this space, however it’s best suited to people finding only. Because it’s not FCRA-compliant, it shouldn’t be used for official purposes like employment or credit checks, and it makes this clear.
Pricing is a little less promising, because you’re only notified of it after a search is done. Transparency is lacking, unless you’re looking at the Pro version, then you’re faced with a headline figure that’s around twice as much as other rivals charge.
Read the full US Search review (opens in new tab).
PeopleFinders offers a number of services for finding people, using over 120 billion public records from over 6,000 data sources to provide information on over 250 million Americans.
Some of the use cases involve reverse address lookup to find out more about previous occupants and other related history, and phone number searching to find out who called you. Of course, you can search by the person’s name, too.
Of significant importance in the face of its rivals is how fast PeopleFinders can pull update, and how neatly it presents that to users. There are also easy-to-use mobile apps for the service, however they strangely go by the name ‘IdentityWatch’. Pricing for the online service could be a bit clearer on the company’s website, though.
Read our full PeopleFinders review (opens in new tab).
BeenVerified is a comprehensive tool that covers a variety of data, including social media information, criminal records, property information, and even vehicle data.
That said, it could be a tricky sell to personal users and hobbyists because there’s no option to buy single reports. Instead, users are faced with a paywall that requires a subscription, though pricing is fairly average at least.
The interface isn’t poor, but it’s not great either. Things are pretty simple, and it takes time to generate a report. In our testing, the progress bar stopped moving and we had to abort.
Read our full BeenVerified review (opens in new tab).
Whitepages is another long-time player in the game, and it claims to have details of 275 million people in its database making it one of the largest. Because of this, it’s home to around 30 million searches each month.
Beyond name searching, you can reverse search phone numbers and addresses too. Unlike some others, Whitepages gives you the option to search for business names, if you fancy doing a little bit of corporate digging.
In aid of its appeal, the service is free to a certain degree. If you want more advanced reports, you’ll have to pay, but it’s not expensive.
Read the full Whitepages review.
What is a people search finder?
These services generally follow the principle of doing what they say on the tin. While they all aim to help you find people (and certain information about them), chances are the way they go about this could vary.
If you know the person’s name, like a long-lost relative, most can accommodate a name search. But if you’re receiving unwanted calls and want to run a check on that number, then a reverse phone number search is required. Whichever piece of data you use as the foundation for your search, they all come under the same umbrella.
How can I choose the right people search finder?
Consider paying attention to the sort of data you already have, and what you want to uncover. Most services will offer up the same sorts of results because they tend to use the same - or similar - databases. But not all of them offer the same search features, like reverse phone number searching.
If, even after this, you’re still struggling to pick between numerous options, take the time to check out quickly they can generate results. You don’t want to be waiting hours if another one can do it in a fraction of the time. That said, if you’re going to have to part with large amounts of cash for the premium, is it really worth it?
Should I pay to use a people search finder?
We recommend always checking out a free version before you plunge into the world of paid subscriptions, because you may be pleasantly surprised at what data you may get.
You could also check out social media profiles, which may be able to show you some superficial information. There are plenty of networks to choose from, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and while they likely won’t give away personal information, they’re a great place for reaching out.
If you’re still wanting more, and a site can promise that, then it could be time to pay. Don’t sign up for a subscription, though, if this is likely to be a one-time search.
How we tested the best people search finder services and engines
We've tested the best people search finder services and engines across numerous aspects, like the type of searches they perform, how long they take to complete checks, and the simplicity of their user interface.
We evaluated how easily users could use each search finder to find people they might know, and we considered whether the service could be accessed easily through mobile platforms and whether there were any human guidance features.
We also looked at their pricing plans and whether they were flexible regarding their offerings and pricing, among other things.
Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar (opens in new tab).