Pros / You get complete and accurate data in a report that’s easy to read.
Cons / You cannot search for a person by age or phone number, which can make it difficult to narrow your search.
Verdict / We've ranked Intelius as the best background check service because it offers the most accurate and comprehensive reports of the services we tested.
Intelius tops the list of the best background check services available for several reasons. When compared to other online background checks, Intelius costs about twice as much, but it leads the pack with the most comprehensive reports, the most accurate information and the most up-to-date data available. The reports are laid out clearly with a description of each category to help you understand what you’re reading. The website is easy to navigate and the customer support team is quick to respond to any questions you may have.
When you’re searching for information on a particular person, it’s vital that the data you receive be accurate, and Intelius scores the highest in that area. Each background check we performed gave us a wealth of information. In addition to full names, birth dates and current addresses, we were able to view the criminal records, civil reports and even some bankruptcy information.
If a person doesn’t have a criminal history, the criminal background check section will be blank. In our testing, we were able to sift through records dating back nearly 20 years for one of our test subjects who had an extensive criminal history – including charges that were dismissed. Felonies and misdemeanors are clearly labeled, and if available, disposition dates and pleas are listed in each offense description. For our test subject, not every offense was listed in the report, but that could be a limitation of public records rather than the background check service. Keep in mind that sometimes the latest data is not available because it has yet to be entered in a database or digitized.
Background check companies are limited in the types of data they can reveal about a person, but Intelius offers a good look at a person’s civil past. If someone you’re investigating has filed for bankruptcy in the past seven years, it should appear on the background report, as long as the public data is up to date. Intelius is one of several services that offer information on bankruptcies, court judgments and tax liens. However, on one of the background checks we performed, we found only one civil judgment against one of our test subjects – four were missing.
Other public data that can be useful includes marriage and divorce records. This is one area where the data was completely inaccurate for one of our subjects – her marriage and divorce didn’t come up at all. Every other record of marriage and divorce for the others we investigated were correct. The relatives listed for those we searched for were correct, to a degree. In-laws are included as relatives, while some direct family members aren’t included at all.
Although 100 percent accuracy is unlikely in any background report, Intelius offers the most accuracy and the most comprehensive background report compared to other services we reviewed.
Intelius offers good search tools that allow you to start searching with just a name and approximate location. If that isn’t enough to find the right person, you can narrow results by an exact address. You won’t be able to use information such as a phone number or age to search for someone. If you’re initially unsure of where someone lives, you can perform a national search, which will show you the various states someone has lived in.
This service provides a preview to help you make sure you choose the right person for a criminal background check. Before you purchase a full report, you will be able to identify the person you’re looking for by cross-referencing cities you know they’ve lived in, places they’ve worked, people they’re related to and schools where they studied. Once you choose the person you’re searching for, you will receive a single-state background check.
Ease of Use
Intelius makes finding and understanding information on a person simple. The website is very easy to navigate. You can search for a person using a single piece of information, which is helpful if you only have a last name. After you’ve found the person you are looking for and order a report, you will receive it within seconds. The report is clearly laid out and each category is labeled – personal public records data, address history, property history summary, single state criminal check, etc. If you’re unsure of how to read the information within a report, you can refer to the definitions made available for each section of the public records search. All reports will be stored in your account for 45 days after purchase.
Help & Support
In its FAQs, Intelius covers the basic questions you may have when you’re considering purchasing an online background check. Should you require more help, though, the company’s customer support team is available by phone and email. The support team answered our calls within seconds. Once the representative we spoke with was able to access our account, he was very helpful in explaining solutions and providing answers to our questions.
Intelius makes it easy to find out if the people in your life are who they say they are. The background check reports are packed full of information, and the service returned the most complete and accurate data compared to any other background check service we tested. The Intelius website is simple to navigate, and the company’s customer support team is eager to help any way they can. Although Intelius is the most expensive service on our list, and there are other companies that provide less expensive reports with extremely accurate results in some areas, this top-ranked service gives you everything you could need in a comprehensive, easy-to-read, accurate background check report, which is why we've ranked it as the best background check company we reviewed.