Best background check services in 2021: free and paid providers

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Using one of the best background check services makes it easy and simple to search public records for information about one or more specific people, such as contacting old friends, or verifying someone’s identity.

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The best background check services differ from credit checks and police checks in that they only use public (or sometimes private) databases to look up information on one or more designated individuals.

There are several reasons why you might want to run this type of check, such as searching for family or friends you’ve lost contact with; Or really you just want to see what data is made available to you.


However, you can use these background check services to go ahead and look for information related to real estate, businesses, or just to see who may have called you when you didn’t have their number. Identified.

The best part about these types of checks is that they are simple and easy to do, and there is no public record of who was looking or who was found, so there is no harm in using such services.

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The main downside about these background information check services is that they tend to be limited, and if you want more than just names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Businesses that verify potential employees will need a more dedicated employee background check service.

In the meantime, these are the best background check services currently available.

1. Intelius

Best Background Checking Service for Beginners

reasons to buy
+Includes education-specific tools+useful visualization+Subscription and single-report options+social network audience
reason to escape
Relatively expensive compared to other options

Intelius’ background checks are more detailed than many. In addition to general address, criminal history, and financial information, it also includes educational history—useful data if you’re trying to use Intelius to contact someone from your past.

Intelius especially recommends using its service to reconnect with old friends, check one’s criminal record, and see what shows up in your background check. It also allows you to review property data on the home you want to find out who is calling you. The service is quick to get you the information you want, and all searches are private and confidential and will not show that you have searched for that information.

Intelius offers seven unique background search products, ranging from phone directory lookups to full-scale background checks. It doesn’t matter which one you choose to use, you’ll need to sign up for a long-term subscription to access them. Each plan comes with the same monthly subscription cost, but the prices for the initial trial period vary.

In addition to that extensive database, Intelius is notable for its intuitive interface. Despite some deceptive billing practices, we consider it to be one of the best background check services. We also like the way Intellius shows connections as a graph, which makes it easy to see how things are related. There’s also a monthly subscription option and with the quality of shows from Intelius, it should be worth the expense.

Read full review: Intelius

2. Instant Checkmate

Best Background Check Service for Data

reasons to buy
+good value for money+accurate and timely data+great search tool+Unlimited reports with subscription
reason to escape
No single-report option

Instant Checkmate is a public search finder that collects data from public records. The service is easy to use and provides a wide range of information, including contact details and criminal records. The results aren’t instant and the service prompts you with lots of questions and warnings before giving the report, which can be annoying.

Instant Checkmate enables you to find someone based on their name, city and state. There is also a reverse phone lookup feature, although it is somewhat difficult to find on the Instant Checkmate website. When you run a search, you’re presented with a list of possible matches and you can generate a detailed report for anyone.

The service only checks public records, so there’s no information available through Instant Checkmate that you can’t find anywhere else. However, the platform casts a wide net and includes details about properties, past addresses of vehicles, family members, marriages and bankruptcies in its reports. The tool will also tell you if the person you are looking for is a registered sex offender, if he or she has a gun license, or has a criminal, arrest or traffic record.

One of the best things about this service is that you get a vast array of data as compared to similar search tools. Running a search with Instant Checkmate can be frustrating because you have to click through a dozen pop-ups before you can see the final report. If you can ignore this flaw, however, Instant Checkmate is relatively easy to use.

Read full review: instant checkmate

3. Truth Finder

Best Background Checking Service for Frequent Checkups

reasons to buy
+Unlimited Background Checks+self-monitoring device+Influential people getting abilities
reason to escape
Not cheap compared to some other picks

TruthFinder offers a variety of background check features—covering the likes of both public and private databases, and self-monitoring tools—so you can see what other people can find about you.

TruthFinder offers many of the same features you’d expect with other background check services. These include searches that cover both public and private databases as well as the ability to identify potential collaborators and relatives of your search subject.

The TruthFinder platform also offers self-monitoring tools, which means you can view your records to see what potential employers, or others who search for you, will see on the platform. Through Truthfinder, you can even claim a particular record as yours. If you do, you’ll be able to fix factual inaccuracies on it or hide it from other TruthFinder users.

Its prowess as a people-finding platform is impressive, and TruthFinder provides a wealth of information about the person you’re looking for. Another great strength here is the ability to complete unlimited background checks. The main downside is that it’s not a cheap service, but if you’re going to use Truthfinder a lot, it’ll definitely be worth the outlay.

Read full review: truth finder

Best Budget Background Check Service

reasons to buy
+cost-effective reporting+good search options+up-to-date data+search results free+Reports include contact information
reason to escape
No option to buy a single report

In addition to the background check, US Search enables you to travel back in time: The site looks and feels like Yahoo, circa 1998. But web design budget constraints seem to mean that US Search is able to invest more in exhaustive search options and excellent price points.

You can search for people by name, phone number, address, or email address, and US Search will generate a large list of search results, helping you find the exact person you’re looking for. Unlike other people’s search tools, US Search does not put a paywall in front of search results. You’ll be able to view the list so you can find the right person—you only pay for one person to have access to the full report.

The report contains basic information like names of family members, past addresses, properties owned and any criminal records. Helpfully, they also offer any known phone numbers, email addresses, and social media handles so you can contact the person you’re looking for. This makes US Search especially useful for reconnecting with an old friend or long-lost relative.

There are various pricing options available for single report cost, or monthly subscription available for unlimited searches, or a quarterly package for the same, but with discounts.

It may not be pretty, but it’s certainly great value for money, not to mention a robust background check solution.

Read full review: US Search

5. People Finder

Best Comprehensive Background Check Service

reasons to buy
+Affordable, Comprehensive Reporting+Exposes data something rivals don’t+easy to use website+buy single report+best mobile app
reason to escape
no social media data

PeopleFinders, as the name pretty much implies, is a people finder service, and it does a great job of it. It’s a straightforward online tool to learn more about someone using public records, and scours public databases to help you identify someone based on their name, phone number, email or address . You can buy a single report or get unlimited access to run as many searches as you want.

PeopleFinders offers several ways to find someone. You can enter their name and city, phone number, email or a known address. For name searches with many possible matches, PeopleFinders presents a list of possible results with age and known family members to help you narrow your search. This is important, because many similar search tools present you with a paywall before you even know whether your search has results.

PeopleFinders offers several different pricing options. For an individual, there are two reports: a search report that includes basic contact information and a background report that includes criminal, property and court records. You can also access unlimited reports with a monthly subscription.

We found its service to be comprehensive and it revealed some data that rivals didn’t have. For example, PeopleFinders told us about a company owned by one of our targets that other sites didn’t report.

It’s not so good on the internet…

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