Whether you're looking up your childhood best friend or trying to get a little background info on your blind date, using one of the best free people finders on the web can help you get or stay informed. We've got all the inside info you need to help you reestablish contact with someone you've lost touch with or find out a few details about someone you just met.
While there are numerous people finders online today, they aren't all equal. See what you can expect from some of the most popular people search websites.
Whitepages.com is a large digital identity database that receives more than 30 million unique visitors each month. Its basic services are 100 percent free. The free information you'll receive includes names (including middle initials), landline phone numbers, full street addresses, and in many cases, previous addresses and primary family members.
For the best search results, use the person's full name, city, and state or zip code. We have a pro tip, though: The database does allow you to search even if you have more limited information. You can search by name, last name only, or name and state.
You don't have to sign up for an account or give your email address to use the basic free people finder on Whitepages.com. For more comprehensive information, Whitepages.com does offer a premium service to get more info about anyone. They start at about $6, with a limit of 20 lookups per month.
The company is a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A- rating. It has been recommended by a variety of websites and bloggers; tech review site The Windows Club says Whitepages.com is helpful in terms of finding basic details about a person.
Intelius is another solid option if you need some basic info about someone. The information Intelius provides is based on public record searches. A basic free search may yield current and previous cities of residence, companies where the person has worked, names of people they are related to, age, and high schools and/or colleges where the individual has studied.
One nifty thing about Intelius is that you have the option to look up a person by name (first name and middle initial are optional) or by reverse phone search. When using a name search, you can narrow results by location if you know it (city and state).
Intelius offers a basic people search for free, and you aren't required to sign up, create an account, or provide personal information. You can score additional information for an extra cost; monthly plans range from about $35 to $43. They offer five or seven-day trial periods for a small fee, but be aware you'll automatically be subscribed to monthly access when you sign up for the trial, so you'll need to be proactive about canceling if you don't want to subscribe.
Intelius is a BBB-accredited business with an A+ rating and is a member of the Online Trust Alliance, an internet society initiative dedicated to promoting trustworthy business practices. Reviews on Consumer Affairs average 4.3 out of five stars.
TruePeopleSearch.com offers completely free information people searches to the general public. Free results may include name, landline phone number, age, and associated names, such as a maiden name. In addition, this people finder stands out because it includes full lists of complete previous addresses, and it may include lengthy lists of possible relatives and even possible associates. The initial search interface is simple and clean, but there are on-page ads once you click to get your search results.
You can search by name or do a reverse phone or reverse address search for someone. If you are using the name option, you can also input the city, state, or zip code if you know them to narrow your results.
While the website itself does not offer memberships or additional paid results, you will find sponsored results for background checks on the results page. This website was listed as one of the best 12 websites to find people online according to Makes Use Of (MUO). MUO noted the website offered in-depth results — although the best results appeared with both name and location.
4. US Search
Another option is US Search, which has been around for 25 years (that's a long time in the world of the internet). Although US Search offers background checks for a fee like Intelius, they also offer free people searches. Once you put in your search criteria, you'll get results that may include full names, current and previous cities and states of residence, companies currently and previously worked at, and possible relatives.
One of the unique aspects of the free people search on this website is you can narrow your results according to an alias the person might have used, age, and previous or current address. You can also narrow results with the name of a person's relative.
To do a search, a last name is required, although you'll get better results if you have the state too (even better if you have the city). You can also do reverse searches by phone number and address (you need to have a complete address if conducting an address search).
You get the city and state with the free results on US Search, but to get full addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth, you will need to pay an additional fee. At the time of this writing, monthly plans are $59 for unlimited reports. It is listed as having been featured on CNN, CBS, and Entrepreneur.com, and is one of the top three people search engines according to Top Consumer Reviews.
BeenVerified is another option if you need to look someone up for free. You don't have to sign up for an account to get preliminary basic search results at BeenVerified. Although the basic search is completely free, it is not as comprehensive as some of the other websites. You can find possible past and current cities and states, previous or associated names, age, and relatives.
You can search by name or name and location, phone number, email, or property address. What's helpful about BeenVerified is that it offers prompts to help you narrow your search, such as adding a city, middle initial, or approximate age.
If you want to obtain any information beyond the basics, Been Verified does require you to sign up for an account and pay a subscription fee. They offer one-month memberships with unlimited reports for less than $30 a month and a discounted rate of less than $20 a month for unlimited reports when you sign up for a three-month subscription.
6. Find People Search
At Find People Search, you can look up information by name, with many optional additional search fields to narrow results, including location, approximate age, maiden name, phone number, date of birth, and social security number. The free information you can find on this site can include past and present addresses (although you may find some duplicates in the address section), age, landline phone number and phone service company, and a substantial list of possible relatives or associated persons. There is also a map view to show address locations with this search tool.
Like many identity search tools, the more information you have for Find People Search, the better. Including seemingly minor details like a middle initial can help enhance your search results.
No email or account sign-ups are required. For additional information, you can sign up for a personal or business subscription. Membership starts just under $20 per month, with a lower-priced intro offer and discounts for longer terms.
7. That’s Them
One of the newer identity search tools available, That's Them, has fewer reviews and ratings than some of the other sites, but they offer free basic searches that include age range, landline phone number, and address. In addition, they offer some other information that's not seen on many of the other sites, including general financial information, the person's occupation, education level, and whether or not he or she is a pet owner.
You can search by last name only, but for best results, search by the full name and as much of the location information as possible. Other ways you can search are by email, reverse phone lookup, or reverse address search. There is also an expanded search page.
This website was mentioned by LifeWire as one of the top search tools for email address searches.
Although it's not marketed as a people search engine, LinkedIn can be extremely useful for finding people for free. The website does require you to create an account to join and look for connections you may know, but it's completely free. Since this website was created as a venue for professional networking, you'll find many people include a substantial amount of detail, including work histories, locations, and more. Using the search bar is straightforward and easy, but you can also browse by alumni and the LinkedIn suggestions of people you may know.
To get the best results, make sure to use as many additional pieces of information as you can when searching to help narrow your results — consider email addresses, colleges, employment, location, job title, and suggestions to help you find the person you are looking for. You can also import your email addresses to help find people.
LinkedIn has received top marks from places like PC Magazine, which called it "the best online professional network there is" and Time.com, which noted it as one of the most underrated search engines online.
9. Facebook People Search
Although Facebook isn't the powerhouse it once was, it's still a pretty great way to find people for free. Using Facebook to track people down is another popular and free way to locate people. You can search for people with a basic name search without having an account, but you'll be restricted in terms of what information you can see without an account. Information is also restricted based on the person's profile settings. If you do have an account, you can easily search for people you know and use filters, including hometown, current city, high school or college, mutual friends, and employers.
Facebook no longer offers graph search tools that were considered invasive, but there are still plenty of filters you can use to find people you are looking for. The Discover People feature, in fact, is an addition to the site that helps facilitate new connections, taking it to another level in terms of finding people.
According to Sprout Social, Facebook averages more than two billion active users each day, so it's easy to see why this could be a go-to source for finding people. Since it's fairly easy to use different searches to track down old friends or acquaintances, it's a contender when it comes to finding someone you may be searching for.
Pros, Cons, and Cautions
Today we have more access than ever before to information online, and that's a huge benefit. But, with any people finder, it's important to be diligent about what the terms and conditions are and exactly what your costs are before signing up.
Since the free information can be limited on many of these sites, they tend to draw people in and then they end up paying for subscriptions. Reviews for people finder sites also sometimes mention hidden fees, and the accuracy and depth of the information can vary. In short, if you go beyond the free searches, be aware of what you are signing up for and read the fine print to stay safe and avoid paying unexpected costs.
Find the Information You Need
Knowing how to find people for free can come in handy when you need a little bit of background info for someone. It's also a great way to find people you've lost touch with so you can reconnect. The best free people searches are simple to use and generally have reliable information, but they're no substitute for your good judgment. Make the most of the tools available, but use safe practices online and in real life when it comes to interacting with others.