Best Background Check Services (Free Options Included)

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The best background check companies will allow you to gain better insight into someone's identity, providing valuable information on that person.

In order to verify someone's identity more thoroughly, these background check services will pull useful information from various sources, including public records, criminal records, social media, and a variety of other search options.

They differ from credit checks and police reports in that they lean more heavily on public sources and databases throughout the internet that contain valuable information on the person in question.

A free background check service is quite handy in more ways than one. They allow you to easily search for friends, family, coworkers, or even a potential date. Most check services have easy-to-use websites that will provide you with thorough reports.

Many first-time users are skeptical as to why they can't compile a report on their own, considering it's all public knowledge and information. Unfortunately, such a task would take a number of hours to complete. Most of the best background check services can provide you with comprehensive results in a matter of minutes. You can then sort through results at your own pace and on your own timeline.

While many background check services are simple and easy to use, they can still have their fallbacks. They tend to be limited in what a certain subscription can do and much of the pricing is often unclear. If you want the background check service to pull more than just names, addresses, and contact information, that will most likely require a more expensive plan. Though, it's important to note that most will offer unlimited reports with a premium monthly subscription.

There are, however, some free background check services out there. We will get into that later in the article.

In the meantime, here are some of the best background check services on the market.

We will further outline their key features and some of the areas where there is room for improvement in this article.


Truthfinder is one of the best background check services in the industry. It's reliable and well-trusted among its users. It provides an impressive level of accuracy, quality, and detail in each of their reports.

Members will receive access to not only their public records database, but private databases as well. The extensive amount of resources used will make the job of finding the right person and developing a complete search on them a whole lot easier.

Even more, their features are considerable and wide-ranging. They use several types of monitoring tools, like the dark web, to provide users with results that could include possible court records, criminal and arrest records, employment verification, sex offender registry, and more. Essentially, it's one of the best in terms of people search features and background checks.

Here's a more in-depth look at some of the items offered on their website.

Unlimited Background Checks and Quick Search Results

Truthfinder offers its background check service to users in a few different ways. Most of the subscription will allow members to perform similar tasks, the difference comes in how it's priced. One subscription allows you to pay once per month and another gives you a discount if it's paid in 2-month increments.

Regardless of how you decide to pay, both subscriptions will provide you with as many background checks as you want. Such reports could provide valuable and insightful information, including:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Phone numbers, email addresses, and other types of contact information
  • Address history
  • Arrest and court records
  • Criminal history
  • Sex offender status
  • Social media accounts
  • And more

You will also have the option to extend the data search to provide even more detailed information, like:

  • Assets
  • Weapon permits
  • Foreclosures and bankruptcies
  • Marriage and divorce records
  • And more

Dark Web Check

Other than their background check feature, Truthfinder can also monitor the dark web. Such a feature is designed to notify you if your identity has been compromised. The company has partnered with Experian, which is one of the industry's most trusted consumer credit reporting agencies.

Truthfinder will search dark web bulletin boards, file-sharing networks, and other forums and chat rooms. If your identity has been compromised, such a search will show the use of your credit card information or social security number within the web. This will allow you to contact whoever necessary, cancel associated credit cards, etc.

User-Friendly Interface

Users can choose to use Truthfinder through their website or on their mobile app. Both are easy to use, whether you want to do a quick background check, people search, reverse phone lookup, etc.

The app is compatible with both iOS and Android mobile devices. The website and app are easy to navigate and understand. Both will provide you with recurring updates and notifications regarding any new or relevant information on the searched person.

Instant CheckMate

Instant CheckMate is another background check company that is both well-known and well-trusted. The service will search through varying records and databases to provide potential a criminal record, employment background, and more.

The website does require users to have a monthly subscription to get a background check and use additional services. However, once you have a plan their background checks and people searches are simple to do and results are reported within an impressive timeframe.

Background Checks and People Search

This background check service will sort through various public databases, including federal, state, and local documents to provide users with accurate and detailed reports. They will search for the following:

  • First and last name
  • Location
  • Phone numbers and other contact info
  • Photos and videos
  • Criminal records
  • Social media
  • Employment verification
  • Demographic data
  • Census data
  • Charitable contributions
  • Registered sex offender status
  • Bankruptcy information
  • Marriage status

Affordable Subscriptions

While there is no free subscription plan offered, there is a trial offer that users can opt into. The trial period generally lasts around 5 days and it will cost around about $1.

To fully utilize all of the features and services offered on their site, members must pay a monthly subscription. This paid subscription will afford you as many people searches as you want. If you're interested in pulling multiple background checks a month, this could be a good option.


Intelius is another good resource for background checks, people searches, and reports more generally. You can rest assured knowing every search is done confidentially and privately. The person you are searching for will never be notified or alerted.

While there are many background check companies available to use, Intelius will sort through over 20 billion online databases and records to provide you with a quality, accurate report. Every single one of their background checks is done meticulously and with proper research.

Quality Background Checks

Intelius is designed for situations where you want to learn more on a person and pull a thorough background check. Their service will check for information on the following:

  • Full name
  • Criminal records
  • Marriage and divorce history
  • Social media profiles
  • Pending lawsuits
  • Bankruptcies or liens
  • Date of birth
  • Address history

Thorough and Accurate Results

Whether you're looking to do a background check, reverse phone lookup, reverse address lookup, or people search, Intelius will provide you with a thorough and accurate report.

The company covers all its bases, sifting through the following data:

  • Federal, state, and county public databases
  • Crime records and other information from the FBI and local government agencies
  • Phone directories
  • Real estate deeds
  • Social media
  • Financial information
  • Lawsuits

Good Customer Service and User Friendly Interface

The Intelius customer service team is quite friendly and willing to help members with confusion or concern. You can contact them by phone or email with your questions. The team will then work to resolve the issue or answer your question on the service.

Additionally, the website's interface is easy to navigate. Figuring out how to use their services, like background checks or people searches, should be quite simple. Directly on the homepage, you will find their search engine right in the center. From there, you can enter the person's first and last name, city, and state. Then, Intelius will take it from there.


CocoFinder is another background search website that allows you to easily and safely search for family, friends, colleagues, and more. It's one of the best background check websites on the internet.

This service scans millions of public databases, information sources, and other resources to properly perform a background screening. Their background checks can shed light on possible recurring criminal behavior, which is a must when making a decision on someone's character and background more broadly.

Free Accounts

CocoFinder is unique in that it allows users to see certain reports free of charge and without a formal account. That's why it's one of the best background check services you can use. Most of the other services will not only require you to set up an account, but you will have to pay a certain fee to fully use each of their features.

It's also important to note that your anonymity is guaranteed when using this website. Since it's not necessary to provide your personal information, like full name and email address, and create an account, you'll know your information will not be used in any way when performing an investigation.

Excellent User Interface

CocoFinder's website interface is very simple to figure out. Additionally, the service is able to provide results fairly quickly and with a high level of accuracy. Every service offered on the website is easily accessible. Any modern-day web browser or smartphone will be able to handle this type of background check platform.


Publicseek uses over 10 billion records throughout the internet. Each of the databases used are trustworthy and reliably sourced. In fact, the service refreshes and verifies its records every 24 hours to make sure they're providing users with updated information.

As soon as you make an account with Publicseek, you'll receive instant access to their records, which includes contact information, social media, address history, possible relatives, arrest records, and more.

Multiple Subscription Plans

Publicseek offers its consumers a variety of different subscriptions and the option to buy a one-time search. The membership program affords various search options and unlimited background checks.

Users will also have the option to upgrade their subscription to include supplemental data included in the reports. This will require an additional fee.

Furthermore, you can test out their services with a one-day trial that can be cancelled at any time. The trial only costs $1 and gives you access to the full site.

ID Protection

Publicseek offers IDSafeGuard, which will help with ID protection, preventing potential fraud and identity theft. This form of insurance can be added onto an existing membership plan for a small fee.


VeriFirst is an excellent option if you are interested in tenant screening, and background screening more generally. It also performs quality background checks.

It's one of the best background check service options available for those in the real estate industry. The service offers impressive tenant screening solutions for every type of property, from multi-family houses to student housing.

They will then perform various types of background checks like an identity check, criminal background check, including several other services and searches.

Tenant Reliability Screens

As mentioned earlier, the screening capabilities on this particular background checking service are notable. They rely heavily on public record databases to look for past evictions, a telling financial history, including credit checks, and even a rental history check. Additionally, VeriFirst offers a debt collection service through their sister company, BYL Collection Services.

Finally, one of their most impressive features is the company's VeriGuide Decision Assistant. This auto-assist will offer a recommendation on whether to approve or reject a tenant applicant based on financial history documents, credit score, and other detailed information.

Free Quotes

VeriFirst works with their customers to provide free quotes and even sample tenant screening reports. You can get a quote through the company's website. To do so, you will need to provide them with the company's name, contact information, website URL, the types of screening you want to perform, and an estimate as to how many you'll need per year. Additionally, their team will ask what you're interested in receiving, i.e. tenant screenings, customer identity verifications, business credit reports, etc.

Free Background Checks

You will definitely receive more features, and therefore benefits, when using a paid subscription service. But, there are other methods and services that offer free background checks.

SpyDialer, for example, is an online service that can provide useful information on a person with an associated fee. It involves an online application where the user can search for things like personal information, phone numbers, and email addresses. You cannot do much more than that, however.

Another option would be a simple Google search. You probably won't obtain as much information that a dedicated background check company would provide, but you may be able to find some details on the person. It's important to note, a manual search like this will prove to be an overwhelming task as Google can yield thousands upon thousands of search results.


Background check services can provide some valuable information on a person.

But it's important to keep in mind, these checks should really only be used for personal reasons. The Fair Credit Reporting Act states that background checks should not be used during the hiring process, for example.

Other than that, you can run background checks to vet someone and gain better insight on their character or background.

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