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Best background check sites and services for 2021

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It’s important for you and your business to learn all about background check sites. The best background check sites give you the peace of mind of being able to do a check-up on the history of a potential employee or client, giving you insight into the person’s background so that you know they’re right for you and that they haven’t avoided telling you anything crucial.

It’s important to use the right background check sites for the task, though. Different sites offer different services, with some providing a focus on criminal record histories, while others look at things like education and job history so you can match that information with what the person has given you. Whatever your intentions, it’s a smart idea to learn all about the best background check sites available at your disposal and potentially even use a combination of them to get the best results for your business needs.

With so many options out there, we’ve narrowed things down to the very best background check sites. Read on while we guide you through the sometimes confusing world of background check sites and help you figure out where you need to invest your time and cash to reap the best rewards and knowledge for your firm and employee base.

No idea where to even begin? We also have a look at how to run a free background check, but bear in mind that it’s worth spending some money on keeping your business safe rather than opting for entirely free solutions. Generally, you get what you pay for, which is why we’ve evaluated all the best background check sites out there right now.

Truthfinder

  • $29 per month with discounts available for long-term subscriptions
  • Cheaper phone-search-only option
  • Public and private database search
  • Unlimited checks
  • Extensive search results
  • Good customer service

If you only have the time and inclination for one of the background check sites listed here, it needs to be Truthfinder. Easily one of the best background check sites out there, it’s simple to use and offers plenty of very useful results in a way that’s welcoming to even less tech-savvy users. That’s because the website is able to access both public and private databases, meaning you can glean a lot of information from one simple search, saving you the time and hassle of digging deeper.

The site’s search engine is easy to use, too, with an appealing interface that means you won’t be intimidated by what you’re doing. Instead, just wait a couple of minutes, and the results pop up on the screen, courtesy of federal data sources, state data sources, and the county database. Unlimited checks are part of the Truthfinder service, which explains why it’s a little pricey — but it’s a good value if you need to conduct regular background checks, as you’ll never hit a limit. You can also search social media, police records, and photos, so the results are very comprehensive. It’ll spot residence history, so you can detect any flaw in an employee or client’s history if they haven’t provided you with the truth.

Truthfinder also offers dark web searches, and there’s a great mobile app that replaces the website pretty well for those times you don’t want to be sitting in front of a monitor. Ultimately, everything about Truthfinder is convenient and feels like using a regular search engine but with more detailed results. The lack of a free trial and needing to pay for a separate phone search is a slight disadvantage, but you certainly get what you pay for here, and that’s great service with some highly reliable results.

Try Truthfinder Now

Instant Checkmate

  • Five-day free trial
  • $35 per month membership with discounts for long-term subscriptions
  • Unlimited reports and searches
  • Checks can take only seconds
  • Extensive results
  • Reverse-lookup feature

Instant Checkmate is particularly well-suited for anyone who simply needs to use background check sites for a quick check on someone. That’s because hidden under the surface of subscription fees is a 5-day free trial, which is ideal for many different temporary situations. Commit to longer, and it’s a little pricier at $28 to $35, depending on the plan you choose, but it’s possible to search solely via phone number for $5 per month, which can be useful if you have a limited budget and information at your disposal.

Enter details on Instant Checkmate, and you can soon search arrest records, even if you only have basic information such as an old address or even a birthday. It’s also possible to find out information on sex offenders, social media history, marriage and divorces, and other personal details, which is useful if you need to know more about the history of someone. A reverse-lookup search function is also practical if you’re simply trying to deal with unwanted emails or phone calls and want to avoid being spammed either as a business or an individual.

Convenient to use in every way, Instant Checkmate also offers a comprehensive mobile app and great customer service. Being able to cancel your membership online is a nice extra touch if you prefer to be completely in control of your accounts rather than needing to call anywhere.

Try InstantCheckmate Now

Intelius

  • Multiple payment options ranging from $1 to $40
  • Seven-day Premium Plus trial available
  • $8 cancellation fee
  • Detailed search results
  • Educational results included
  • Mediocre customer service

Boasting a huge database of over 20 billion public records, Intelius is vast and one of the most useful background check sites out there, providing you can negotiate its complicated pricing structure. Rather than a set fee, different services involve different prices, with a reverse phone search costing just $1 but a more detailed background check costing $40. It can be confusing, and there are cancellation fees involved too, but once you decipher it, it’s a good value at times, depending on what you need.

The site covers all the popular options, including the ability to conduct standard reverse phone number and email searches, as well as check on the level of education of a potential search result. Criminal background checks can also be conducted with zero evidence you were ever looking. You’ll see offenses state-wide, ensuring a wide breadth of results for any potential candidates. It’s ideally suited for a little bit of everything, from employment checks to learning about dates or coworkers. A Fast Pass option means you can get results much faster than with other background check sites, too.

With all the bases covered, including marriage and divorce history, bankruptcy details, email addresses, and social media accounts, Intelius is an attractive way of finding out everything you need to know from a potential client or simply someone you need to interact with. Just lookout for the confusing way that things are priced and the fact that customer service is a little limited if you need assistance.

Try Intelius Now

US Search

  • Monthly subscription costs $20
  • Individual checks from $2.45
  • No trial period
  • Reports can be printed
  • Extensive report detail
  • Slightly inaccurate results

One of the oldest public records search companies out there, US Search can be pretty cheap, depending on what you need from it. While a monthly subscription costs $20 and a background check is $40, it’s also possible to buy much cheaper deals, such as a basic people search, for only a couple of bucks. Such flexibility is useful when tracking down information, with US Search also offering extra bonuses such as the ability to print out reports for free so you have a permanent record if you need it. That’s kind of what you’d expect from something that’s been established for nearly 20 years. It also has a simple-to-use interface every step of the way.

It’s not a perfect service, with some results lacking in key information you can gain elsewhere, but it’s a good starting point, which is where some of its cheapest packages are the most appealing. Information such as education and job history are easy to come by, as well as past homeownership, but other more obvious things such as email addresses prove trickier.

US Search is also a little vague on how data is used, which isn’t comforting when you want to be more secure. More transparency would certainly help, so this is one of the things that makes it less appealing than the other best background check sites. We can’t fault its value, though.

Try US Search Now

People Finders

  • $30 per month subscription
  • Three-day trial for $3
  • Cancellation fee required
  • No social media information
  • Simple-to-use interface
  • Good customer service

Aimed at those looking for background check sites that provide simple yet effective results, PeopleFinders is very easy to use. While it lacks a mobile app for iOS, both its website and Android app are easy to browse. Simply enter some key details, and enter your payment info to gain more knowledge. If you simply want to conduct a quick check on a potential employee, it does the job well, offering property holding information, evictions and foreclosures, and criminal record checks. Don’t count on any social media results, though, as this isn’t offered.

When signing up for a membership, you get unlimited checks right down to reverse phone lookups, with excellent online customer service that’s also backed up with phone and even snail-mail options. Such comprehensive checks are in part thanks to PeopleFinders accessing more than 6,000 data sources, which means you get a great set of results whatever you’re looking for.

However, People Finders keeps it relatively simple, so don’t count on dark web searches or anything too complex. Still, at a good price, it’s ideal for occasional use.

People Looker

  • $23 per month
  • Five-day $1 trial
  • Extensive criminal record reports
  • Slow searching
  • Very private
  • Easy to use

Feeling like Google for people, People Looker has a focus on criminal record checks. It’s simultaneously great for value and for what it can offer you. One of the best background check sites for detailing a criminal past, it scours court documents and returns warrant and misdemeanor information, as well as public arrest records and a whole lot more. Annoyingly, the standard people search is slow, but it’s worth sticking with when you get such thorough results that mean you know exactly what the history is of someone. You can also search property addresses to learn all about the history of a building or location, which is great if you’re looking to buy or lease new business premises.

If you’re trying to clean up your past, People Looker is also great for its info-removal tool, which helps you get rid of anything that isn’t true. Other checks include property checks to ascertain ownership and tax info, and it’ll even show you demographic information on a neighborhood, including schools and local attractions.

Combined with great customer service via phone or email, People Looker might not be the fastest, but its clean interface and extensive (and private) results are super useful when evaluating someone.

BeenVerified

  • From $15 per month depending on commitment
  • No free trial
  • Unlimited searches
  • Transparent checks
  • Slow results
  • Extensive vehicle check

BeenVerified offers a lot of what you would expect from the best background check sites, but it also has some neat extra tricks up its sleeve. Most notably, that includes the ability to search for a vehicle via its VIN number. Enter the 17-digit code, and you get detailed results, including an estimated value, any accidents it may have suffered, and safety recalls. That’s ideal if you’re looking to buy a vehicle for your business and want it to be safe and secure.

It also has an unclaimed money search for anyone looking to check if they’ve overpaid somewhere or forgot about savings bonds. Alongside that are more conventional checks, but it’s nice to see such variety from BeenVerified, and it stands out from the cluttered crowd of the best background check sites. A convenient-to-use set of mobile apps is useful for when you’re on the move.

The downside? Results can be slow from BeenVerified, and some results aren’t 100% accurate, but you can’t fault it for offering something different from the competition, and it certainly has its place amongst the many background check sites out there. For vehicle checks, this is a fantastic resource to check out.

GoodHire

  • From $30 to $80, depending on the type of check needed
  • Extensive searches conducted
  • Professional interface
  • Can be slow to report back
  • Aimed at simplifying hiring
  • Focuses on employment recruitment

Aimed at companies with smaller HR departments but that need to check over potential employee prospects, GoodHire offers tiered memberships for different business needs. At its most basic, it offers a 24-hour turnaround with a criminal database check and sex offender register along with social security number traces. Upgrade to Standard, and it takes a little longer but also includes the last seven years of court records and a country criminal court check. The Premium service also tosses in a domestic watchlist search, but it takes a little longer to come through.

Other features include health sanctions, drug screenings, ongoing alerts, DMV checks, and credit reports, so there are all kinds of options here, depending on your needs. Things can get very advanced if you want or need to be extra secure about your potential hire.

GoodHire is well-designed, so it’s simple to use yet suitably professional, meaning it’ll even integrate seamlessly with many forms of software you might use. It’s not really aimed at those occasional times you might want to perform a personal search, but it’s ideal for a growing business that’s serious about background check sites and wants to be as thorough as possible along the way.

RentPrep

  • From $19 to $38, depending on features needed
  • Extensive home information offered
  • Credit report optional extra
  • Information can be generic
  • ResidentScore system for peace of mind
  • Thorough nationwide criminal reports

Aimed at landlords and those looking to rent out rooms, RentPrep offers a lot of valuable information about the background of potential renters. Whether you go with the basic package or the more advanced RentPrep scheme, you’ll get back information on previous addresses, eviction records, and bankruptcy notices. There’s also a sex offender registry check for peace of mind. Upgrade to the more premium package, and you’ll also get a ResidentScore, which evaluates whether the service thinks your client will be a good tenant or not based on past history. If you’re relatively new to renting, it’s reassuring to know that RentPrep is using algorithms to figure out the safest bet for you rather than having to rely on your own thought process.

You’ll need to pay extra for a credit report, but that’s not a dealbreaker for many users. Elsewhere, you can check basic criminal reports and the public database for an eviction, along with gain a numerical number assigned to the risk that the client might default on their lease obligations. The only spotty result is income info, which can sometimes miss past employment details, so you might want to combine it with another service for maximum effectiveness.

Relatively cheap to use and with extensive insight into past housing situations, RentPrep remains a solid bet for anyone looking for background check sites focused on the property market before they consider letting out a room or more to someone.

PeopleSmart

  • $30 per month
  • $1 one-week trial
  • Info comes with a confidence score
  • Search results are saved
  • Easy to navigate
  • No criminal history provided

Upfront and straightforward, PeopleSmart is simply $30 per month for everything it can offer. That includes all the essentials that you can glean from a social media account, name, or email, but there’s no information on criminal records or more complex data here.

Still, PeopleSmart works on being more personable, thanks to offering a confidence score so you can see how reliable the person appears to be at a glance. Its thinking is that it helps you hire responsibly as well as learn where to pursue potential sales leads or partnership opportunities. Search results are saved, so you can go back to look at your previous research via the intuitive and easy-to-navigate dashboard. That’s ideal if you’re trying to compare multiple candidates at once or simply need to look back some other time. Report monitoring will keep an eye on up to 10 reports and give you a heads-up if anything changes, which further enhances your reasons to reuse PeopleSmart. Other useful features include the ability to search via someone’s LinkedIn profile, giving you some more professional insight into what to expect.

Simple to use and organize, you can even create a PDF of results, making it ideal for those times when you’re discussing potential recruitment with others. With no catch to the payment scheme and 24/6 customer service, PeopleSmart is certainly useful.

With so many different background check sites out there, it’s clear there are different solutions for different situations. Check out all the best background check sites to figure out the right one for you.

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