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Best Background Check Site: Top Rated Background Check Services in 2023

Obtaining reliable and accurate information about a person can be a daunting venture.

Presented by Originated Media April 17, 2023

Obtaining reliable and accurate information about a person can be a daunting venture, considering the billions of public records spread across thousands of facilities in the USA. But, the best background check services online can cut through the hassle and deliver accurate, detailed results in minutes. 



Rating: 5.0


  • Fast Results
  • Public Records
  • Updated Database
  • Easy Reports

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Instant Checkmate

Rating: 4.8


  • Multiple Formats
  • Unlimited Searches
  • Easy-to-Use
  • Privacy Protected

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Instant Checkmate

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Rating: 4.6


  • Excellent Mobile Apps
  • Vast Data Records
  • Comprehensive Results
  • Quick Search Time

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Whether it's learning more about an online date, finding a lost loved one, digging into someone’s criminal history, or discovering how secure your identity is, these vital services ensure your safety in a world that isn't always what it appears to be. And while there are lots of ways to complete an online background check, not all offer the same detail or accuracy. Without these two essential features you could end up more in the dark than when you started.

To ensure effortless and reliable results, read our guide to the best background check services online. Loaded with detailed reviews of the best sites, helpful information on making the most of your background check, and answers to common background check site questions, this guide will help you uncover the truth fast.

4 Best Background Check Sites

1. Truthfinder - Overall Best Background Check Site

2. Instant Checkmate - Best for Email Reports

3. Intelius - Best for First-Time Users

4. Spokeo - Best Self-Updating Background Searches

Reviews of the Best Background Check Services

1. Truthfinder - Best Background Check Site


  • Fast, accurate background checks
  • Hundreds of millions of public records
  • Database updated regularly
  • Easy-to-read reports


  • No single report orders

About Truthfinder

Truthfinder is the go-to resource for millions of people around the country with their simple yet effective search engine that allows users to quickly access millions and millions of verified public records that are updated regularly.

The intuitively designed site is very easy to use, offering an interactive platform that simplifies the process of detailed background checks. To start, the user will need to provide any one of several simple details such as name or last known location state. After clicking "Search", the site gets to work scouring its billions of records to deliver results matching the search parameters.

Users can scroll through potential matches revealing the names, ages, known addresses, and possible relatives to help narrow down the search. After selecting the most likely option, detailed reports with even more information are easily viewed, such as arrest warrants and public criminal records, marriage licenses, traffic violations, social media posts, and more.

The report is organized into an easy-to-read, categorized format that can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF for printing. In addition, Truthfinder offers all users a free personalized dashboard that allows them to retrieve and run unlimited reports when their membership is active.

Truththfinder has a varying price structure for monthly memberships and does not offer one-time background check services. 

While this may seem less cost-effective at first, the initial detailed (and revealing) report run by new users often makes them want to run more background checks. So, this membership structure ensures affordable, unlimited searches until you cancel with the site's super helpful customer service team.

Truthfinder Background Check Specs

  • Order Options: Monthly or bi-annual membership
  • Search Time: Less than 5 minutes
  • Years in Business: Operating since 2015




2. Instant Checkmate - Best for Email Reports


  • Multiple report formats to choose from
  • Unlimited searches with membership
  • Hassle-free cancelation policy
  • Privacy protection services


  • Customer service is not 24/7

About Instant Checkmate

Background checks at Instant Checkmate are a great way to get detailed public information about a person or yourself right to your inbox. These reports ensure you don't miss any critical changes that could dramatically affect how you interact with the person you are researching.

Instant Checkmate has access to millions of public records from all 50 states and can provide a detailed background check report with the click of a button. The interface is easy-to-use, allowing users to enter the name and location of the individual they wish to investigate before selecting an email format for delivery.

The site asks questions during the search process to narrow down results to only the closest matches. This means that even without much information on the person you are searching for, you can still get a detailed report based on the factors you do know.

For those who only want to verify that a person is who they say they are, standard searches detailing the person's age, address history, and possible family members are a great way to get an answer quickly.

Those who are interested in more detailed information will appreciate the premium background check services that are available for a monthly fee. They include information about criminal records, bankruptcies, sex offender status, social media profiles, property records and more.

Subscription pricing varies depending on whether customers opt for the site's one-time downloadable report option, Dark web monitoring service, or full access to all the site's phone, criminal, and public records search features. Searches are unlimited until you cancel the membership.

Instant Checkmate Background Check Specs

  • Order Options: Standard & Premium memberships, one-time add-ons
  • Search Time: Less than 10 minutes
  • Years in Business: Operating since 2010




3. Intelius - Best for First Time Users


  • Mix-and-match membership options
  • Excellent mobile applications
  • Vast database of public records
  • Cancel membership anytime


  • No live chat support

About Intelius

If you've never done a background check before and want to ensure your money is well spent, Intelius is the perfect place to start. This site offers a "mix-and-match" membership plan that allows users to choose only the services they need, which makes it easy for first-time users. 

Intelius has access to millions of public records, including criminal history and arrest reports, marriage records, bankruptcy filings, sex offender status, and much more. The site also provides its users with a mobile app for Android and iOS devices that make searches even easier when meeting people on the go.

This best background check site is easy to use, comprehensive in its coverage, and doesn't require much information to start a search. With as little as a first or last name, last known city or state, or street address, Intelius can narrow down millions of possible results to a few in minutes.

Intelius' background check is made even more authoritative and accurate with their address or reverse phone lookup services. Combining these packages into a single search allows users to feel confident they are getting the most comprehensive results possible - at a trial rate starting at less than a dollar.

Users will have no problem accessing completed reports via the Intelius dashboard. This nifty feature, accessible to all members, is great for easy reference and document retrieval. 

Additionally, a one-time purchase at a nominal fee allows users to download the report for quick reference, comparison, or printing.

Intelius Background Check Specs

  • Order Options: Mix-and-match membership plans, one-time add-ons
  • Search Time: Less than 10 minutes
  • Years in Business: Operating since 2003




4. Spokeo - Best Self-Updating Background Searches


  • Free & premium search features
  • Unlimited report generation
  • Regularly updated records database
  • Multiple search parameters


  • Slightly longer search times than other best background check sites on this list

About Spokeo

Making it easy to perform free and paid background checks on people, phone numbers, addresses, and more, Spokeo is an online service designed to give users the most up-to-date public record information.

Spokeo's search engine lets users quickly locate people, businesses, and addresses through a simple web interface. Its sophisticated algorithm works quickly to scour billions of public records for the most comprehensive, accurate results possible.

And what Spokeo doesn't know yet, it'll learn. The site's records are updated regularly, so users can rest assured that any search done through this service can yield the most up-to-date and accurate information every time they view the report.

While regulations prevent Spokeo from being used to vet potential employees, the service can be used to research a person's identity or background information accurately. It even allows users to search through multiple parameters such as a name, phone number, email address, or physical address.

These multiple search parameters, combined with the accuracy of its search engine, make Spokeo one of the most reliable online services to help you find people, discover more about someone you met on social media, or verify the identity of people you do or may interact with.

A subscription to this best background check service ensures unlimited searches and PDF reports. For additional fees, users can get unique benefits that protect their identity and provide access to reports - anywhere, anytime.

Spokeo Background Check Specs

  • Order Options: Free & premium memberships
  • Search Time: Less than 15 minutes
  • Years in Business: Operating since 2006




Our Selection Process for the Best Background Check Sites

For a background check site to be considered the best, it must meet critical criteria in areas such as accuracy, speed of search results, customer service, user experience, and legal compliance. All these factors ensure that users will be able to get secure, accurate results in a timely manner - without compromising their privacy, security, or personal information.

To gauge the level of each of these factors, we ran extensive tests on the sites in our list. This included testing their search features, accuracy of reports, and customer service options. We also considered factors such as years in business and user feedback to ensure we only recommend the best background check services with a proven track record of reliability and trustworthiness.

Ultimately, the background check sites above scored the highest in all these categories. Each one offers unique benefits critical to making the most of background checks and ensures that the personal information of individuals remains safe, secure, and private.

What is a Background Check?

A common practice employed worldwide, background checks are used to gain insight into a person's past and present. For example, they can reveal details about a person's criminal history, previous employment, known aliases, relatives, and more - all useful for personal reasons.

With the advent of the internet, the ability to perform a background check on someone has become so much easier. In the past, those wanting to know more about a person or find a long-lost relative would have to spend time and money going through public records at government offices spread across the county.

These offices contain the public records information that the best background check sites use to provide accurate results. By paying for a membership with the sites above, users can access and view those same public records without spending the time, money, or effort to do so themselves.

In addition to public physical records sourced from court records, criminal records, property records, public employment history records and more that are digitized and stored online, most sites listed above also offer access to information from private, legally obtained databases. This information is often unavailable to the public and can provide detailed insight that helps you navigate interactions with a familiar or new person.

People that can use the best background check sites above are those wanting to learn more about a person for any reason outside of:

  • Employment decisions
  • Financing or loan approval
  • Rental decisions
  • Harassment or stalking purposes

Any reputable background check site will feature the full list of reasons they can and cannot provide services. Be sure to check this disclosure list before signing up to ensure you select the best fit for your needs.

When used responsibly, a criminal background check, a check of property or court records, or a full comprehensive background check can be invaluable in helping you make more informed decisions regarding your social, personal, or family life. Whether it's someone you met through social media or just an old friend who you want to get back in touch with, the best background check services allow you to get the information you need quickly and effortlessly.

How To Choose the Best Background Check Service

There are a lot of background check services online and knowing how to spot the best one for your purposes can be tricky. Here are some key features you should look for when choosing the best background check service for your needs.

Legal compliance

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates information collection, use, and disclosure for background checks. Therefore, it's essential to ensure that any background check service you choose complies with the FCRA and other applicable laws.

Compliance measures may not be imminently evident, but there are a few telltale signs to look for. Compliant background check companies will have a written privacy policy and access to customer service should any concerns arise, as well as an established dispute resolution process.

Additionally, the best background check companies that are not a Consumer Reporting Agency will ask for acknowledgement from the searcher that they comply with the FCRA each time they submit a request. This means not using any of the information (including criminal history) in background checks to screen new tenants, loan-seekers, potential hires, or any other purpose covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Customer reviews

Nothing speaks more to the quality of a background check service than reviews from customers who have used it. Good customer reviews will help you gain insight into the types of information they can provide and their overall user experience.

As you peruse reviews to understand the background check service better, look for comments that specifically mention accuracy, customer support, and ease of use. These three aspects will help you determine if the service is legitimate and reliable.

Also, keep in mind that not all reviews will be on the background check site. Therefore, browsing several third-party rating sites is an excellent idea to gain a well-rounded opinion of any given background check service.

Search capabilities

The best background check services should offer a variety of search capabilities to ensure you get the most information available in one search. You should be able to search by name, city, and state as a minimum.

In cases where you don't have anything more than an old phone number or a vague address, the best services will also offer reverse searches to help you track down more details. These searches can be combined into packages that help reduce the overall cost and enhance the quality and detail of the report.

As a general rule of thumb, the more records a background check service has access to, the better. Therefore, keep an eye out for services with access to hundreds of millions (or billions) of records in their databases, as this indicates a reliable background check service.

Database updates

Information is only as good as its source, and sources can change over time. The best background check services ensure their databases are regularly updated to provide the most accurate and up-to-date comprehensive background checks.

How often they update varies by service, but you should look for a company that updates at least once a week, if not daily. For an even more hassle-free background search experience, consider choosing services that auto-update reports while your site membership is active. This way, you can save time running a new report whenever you want to verify the information.

Site security

The digital age is rife with potential risks, and it pays to be vigilant. Background check sites should always use best practices when it comes to the storage and sharing of personal information.

Look for companies that prioritize security and take measures to ensure your data is safe from hackers. SSL encryption on their website, secure payment methods such as PayPal or credit card, and password protection are all key indicators of a best background check service.

What Shows Up On a Background Check?

The term “public records” gets thrown around a lot when describing background check sites, but what does it mean, and how much information can it really uncover? According to DallasNews - a lot more than you’d think.

Criminal records

Arguably, one of the main reasons people run background checks is to see if a person has criminal records. Whether reading the criminal history of your favorite celebrity or seeing if someone is telling the truth about their past, criminal records are always one of the first things people check.

Remember that for someone to have criminal records, they must have been convicted of a crime. In most cases, background check sites can uncover all types of criminal history, from misdemeanors to felonies, as long as the criminal records were not expunged, sealed, or pardoned.

Criminal records may also show any outstanding warrants or active criminal cases. Some background check sites even go the extra mile and provide information related to sex offender registries, do-not-fly lists, terrorism watchlists, and more.

Civil records

In contrast to criminal records, civil records include any court records of proceedings or documents that involve disputes between two parties. These can include bankruptcies, lawsuits, liens, judgments, divorces, and other money-related cases.

Civil records are especially valuable for someone wanting to get more involved in a new relationship but aren't sure of the other person's past. This type of information on background checks can help identify potential financial entanglements and even provide insight into a person's character via how they handle their disputes.

Education, employment, & professional history

Trying to confirm that someone is an alumnus so you can invite them to an event? Interested in knowing what type of job experience a person has or if they have any professional licenses? A background check can provide you with all this information. 

While this information can’t be used to make hiring or firing decisions, it can provide valuable insight into whether a person is honest and truthful about their experiences. Remember, fabulists never make good friends. So, running background checks before investing time and energy into someone is a great way to ensure you won't get burned.

Social media proof

Sites offering online background checks frequently include information from one of the most publically available online sources: social media.

By scouring public posts from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more, a background check can uncover exactly who a person presents themselves online to be and if it matches their other social media profiles.

While the type of social media content varies from search to search, it's usually enough to reveal any possible red flags about a person through photos, comments, shared posts, and more.

Possible relatives & aliases

Including information about family and aliases on a background check may seem strange, but they serve a more noble purpose than providing criminal records and a picture of a person's past.

By linking to possible relatives, background checks can confirm that the person they want to know more about is actually that person. This is especially important for those interested in reuniting with a long-lost family member or someone who has been estranged for a long time.

In addition, aliases can help uncover any hidden pasts that may be connected to a person's current identity. For example, if someone goes by an alias of "John Smith" but their real name is "John Smythe", the best background check sites can uncover this discrepancy.

Previous & current addresses

Background checks can provide a comprehensive look into someone's past and present addresses. This information is invaluable for those who need to identify any previous residences or want to contact someone by mail.

Additionally, address information is vital to verifying addresses listed on public records, following the trail of an old friend, or learning about who may be occupying a past or present home or business.

How Long Does a Background Check Take?

Background check sites compile information pretty fast - usually in less than 10 minutes. But, the speed at which the results are presented depends on a few factors, such as:

  • Amount of publicly available information on the person being searched
  • The number of searchable databases used by the background check site
  • Responses to questions asked during the search process
  • Technical interruptions (closing the browser, pressing refresh, or hitting the back button)

Additionally, because background checks can be updated daily thanks to reputable site practices, receiving a complete report may extend over several days or months as new information comes to light.

Ultimately, no matter the time it takes to run background checks on the people in your life, the wait is worth it to ensure the safety and security of you and your loved ones.

Frequently Asked Questions About Background Checks

1. How can I tell if a background check company is trustworthy?

The best way to know if a background check service is trustworthy is to read reviews and ratings from other customers. Additionally, it's essential to look for companies that comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and work to secure the data they collect.

2. What is included in a background check?

Background checks typically include full name, aliases, age, previous and current locations, criminal records, social media accounts, and more. Premium services may also include information about someone's phone number or email. Comprehensive reports can also detail employment and educational history, traffic violations, etc.

3. Can I search for someone without them knowing?

Yes - as long as you don't do anything illegal or break any terms of service set forth by the background check company. Be aware that you will likely be asked to acknowledge and agree to their terms of service before starting the search.

4. Can I just search for someone's social media information on a background check?

Background checks don't allow users to select the specific information they want - but they do organize it into categories. Many reports have a clearly labeled "Social Media" or "Online Presence" section, which will include links to any publically available social media accounts associated with the person you're searching for.

5. Can I run free background checks?

Yes - there are many background check sites available that offer free services or trials. However, these reports may not be as comprehensive as paid services, only providing limited information such as current city/state, age, and potential relatives. You will likely have to opt for a paid service if you want more information than that.

Learn Everything You Need To Know with the Best Background Check Sites

Your ability to feel safe, reconnect with loved ones, or check in on your favorite celebrity escapade is made easier with the best background check services. 

By providing detailed information in an easy-to-read and organized format, background checks are invaluable tools for keeping your life happy, balanced, and secure.

Don't risk your safety to just any site offering background checks. Visit the links to any of the four reputable services above and ensure you get accurate, detailed results you can rely on.

Summary of the Best Background Check Services

1. Truthfinder - Overall Best Background Check Site

2. Instant Checkmate - Best for Email Reports

3. Intelius - Best for First-Time Users

4. Spokeo - Best Self-Updating Background Searche