The best people search sites offer a great way to find someone quickly and relatively easily. While you can do this sort of tracking on your own, a decent service will help you through it all, making everything not only easier but also potentially a lot quicker.
The best people search sites have lots of details available about individuals like addresses, phone numbers, social media profiles and more. While lots of this is public information, some may be company owned which these services will give you access to.
For people search services, Intelius is one of the very best. Not only is it fast but it's also comprehensive with excellent visualisations to see all that data clearly. There's an affordable monthly subscription option and this also offers report based pricing to suit most needs.
If your search is crime related then starting with one of the best background check services (opens in new tab) can help. But if it's a family search then the best genealogy sites (opens in new tab) are helpful.
It's worth noting these are for personal use only and not professional. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) says you can't use these services for hiring someone, lending money, leasing property or any other professionally related decision.
These are the best people search sites for your needs.
1. Intelius: Best people search site overall(opens in new tab)
Intelius presents its findings in a clever, web-like design, which allows you to clearly map out the connections between your subject and their acquaintances, work history and previous addresses. While this may sound like a small design choice, we found that it actually had a sizable impact on our interpretation of the report. We saw connections that we might otherwise have overlooked.
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, though. We found there were some slight inaccuracies in the reporting, although not significantly more than were noted in other services. It scored a B+ for its accuracy overall, which is in line with most of the other platforms. We also found that its pricing structure was a little difficult to understand.
While this site used to offer individual reports, you can no longer find that option. This means that prices are significantly higher than they used to be, as a monthly subscription starts at around $25. As outlined above, this site could really benefit from a clearer breakdown of its prices, which are fairly well hidden at present.
- Read our Intelius review (opens in new tab)
2. Instant Checkmate: Best people search site for accuracy(opens in new tab)
This site scores big on accuracy - and, unlike a lot of the other services we reviewed it’s fairly upfront with its costs. You can’t buy individual reports, which means that you have to pay out for a monthly subscription, starting at $35.12 per month (or $28.09 per month if you commit to a three month period.) It also regularly offers introductory trial periods for as little as $1, which last for around five days.
Instant Checkmate was the most accurate in our tests. Not only was the information the most accurate, it included information many other services neglected, such as marriage and divorce records. It also flagged potential criminal records rather than including the information indiscriminately. This is especially useful if you’re searching yourself, because this service allows you to easily flag the inaccurate criminal information to have it removed from your report.
The reports we purchased included current and correct phone numbers, email addresses, relatives and associates and current and former addresses going back 15 years.
The reports are also among the cleanest and best designed. The information is laid out in a chronological timeline, making it easy to view the person’s history in a clear, linear progression. In addition, the left-panel menu makes it easy to navigate the report’s various sections easily without having to scroll endlessly.
3. TruthFinder: Best people search site for basic reports
We like TruthFinder because it's accurate. While it's not the easiest to use, nor does it have the broadest range of search options, what it does provide is some of the most accurate and complete basic info reports of all People Search services. It's slightly more expensive than some other People Search engines, but you do get what you pay for when it comes to actually getting the information that you need.
What you also get is the opportunity to search for yourself, which is handy for cleaning up your online presence if you're worried it's inaccurate, or you don't want people to get in touch with you. TruthFinder's biggest strengths lie in its reporting of social media accounts, criminal records, and job histories, so it's ideal for things like checking out the new nanny or finding a good tutor for your kids.
It's good for People Search, but if you're doing a more thorough background check and need a wider range of information, something like Intelius is a better bet.
4. US Search: A solid all-rounder(opens in new tab)
US Search was one of the best performing people search services when it came to accuracy, pricing, interface navigation and report formatting. It’s not the best in any of these categories, but it’s among the best. Previously, the site had an option that let you search for an individual for a one-off fee, but it's now switched to a subscription model that costs $19.86 per month. There are usually introductory offers on this though, which push these prices down to $1.99 for the first 30 days.
While the accuracy of the reports was above average in our test, it wasn’t perfect. We purchased full background reports for our tests, and while this provided more information – criminal records, social media, marriages, divorces, property and business ownership – the accuracy of the reports earned just a B grade in our tests. We found the addresses and property ownership records to be accurate, and finding people wasn’t difficult, even with common names, but the phone numbers and emails were inconsistent.
The layout of the reports is clean and easy to read. The information is divided into sections that you can bounce to from the top of the menu. The reports also included a map showing all the addresses and properties within a geographic context.
- Read our US Search review (opens in new tab)
5. PeopleFinders: Best value people search site(opens in new tab)
PeopleFinders earned our pick for best value because it has the most affordable plans and one of the highest accuracy grades. You have the best chance of getting the right information at the lowest cost. That said, while the subscription isn’t the most affordable option at about $40 per month, you can purchase a single report on a person for less than $2. And since it had the second-best accuracy grade in our tests, you have a good chance of paying for good information.
In our test, each person said their reports were accurate with addresses, relatives, properties and businesses, but there were some inconsistencies with phone numbers and email addresses. In addition, the marriages of each person we bought reports on were not included in the reports. Social media and work history information was also not in the report.
The layout of PeopleFinders’ reports is appealing. It lets you skip to relevant sections using the menu, making it particularly easy to navigate compared to some services. And as with most services, it utilizes filtering tools to help find the person you’re looking for, so the more information you have on the person, the easier it is to narrow your search.
6. BeenVerified: Best people search site for work history(opens in new tab)
While you can’t use people search services to make hiring decisions, BeenVerified is the best service for finding someone through their work history. Often, the easiest path to finding and contacting a person is through their work, former work associates and coworkers. In our tests, while it wasn’t as accurate in some areas, the work history and social media information provided by this service was the most accurate and was provided in an easy-to-read report. The information was pulled from LinkedIn and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. So, you can probably find the person you’re looking for on those sites without paying an expensive fee.
BeenVerified did struggle to find marriage and divorce records in our tests, but it provided accurate addresses, including the most recent address. It also provided accurate emails and phone numbers, including mobile numbers most services didn’t provide.
The biggest downside to BeenVerified is the pricing structure. You can’t purchase individual reports; instead you sign up for a $22.86 monthly subscription, making it one of the more costly services... if you're not a regular user.
What is the fair credit reporting act?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is important as it came into use in 1970 to protect people. It means that unfair use of these services to marginalise people isn't allowed.
The reason is that sometimes a person may be confused. Imagine being refused a job or an apartment rental because you share a name with someone that has a criminal record?
So while these are helpful services – and more accurate than ever these days – there is still too much inaccuracy to make these available for use professionally.
How accurate are these people search sites?
The FCRA doesn't let you use these services professionally due to their level of inaccuracy. That said, it comes down to how you use it. One person may do a lot of research and cross-reference plenty of information to be near sure they find the person they're looking for. Another may find some basic details and presume that's who they're thinking of.
If you have a photo, for example, you can be near certain you have the right person and with more images about today than ever, this is a very real possibility.
How can I find a person for free?
You don't have to pay to use these services as there is plenty of personal information already flying about the interwebs. Use dedicated sites like classmates.com (opens in new tab) or head to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to find who you're after.
Another useful service is Google which lets you do a reverse image search. Head to images.google.com (opens in new tab) and upload a photo of the person in question. You may get lucky and find information on them right away from just that. Although, more realistically, the process can take time and effort.
How much do the best people search sites cost?
These services generally require a subscription where you pay regularly, in the range of $20 to $35 per month. But with plenty of promotion options at sign-up you'll like find it costs you less.
Some sites offer more services within that, like an expanded report. These are often charged on top of the subscription, so keep that in mind before you sign up.
How we tested the best people services
In our testing we searched for three different subjects, on each site. The names ranged from very common to fairly uncommon.
Once the results were in we had the subject confirm they were accurate so we could validate the quality. Details looked at included addresses, phone numbers, marriages and divorces, assets, criminal histories and relatives. All this was checked to make sure it was current as well as accurate.