Best Background Check Sites - 2020

We spent 23 hours thoroughly testing multiple background check sites and our number one pick for 2020 is Instant Checkmate. View our detailed comparison table below for more information. The amount of information returned can be shocking!

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This is a free online resource that strives to offer comprehensive reviews and valuable information to our visitors. Our top ranked sites are reviewed on the basis of our own views, knowledge and expert opinions. We are able to provide you with our free online reviews thanks to referral fees we receive from a number of companies that are compared and reviewed on our website. Please note that the compensation from referral fees may impact the scoring and ordering of each site reviewed. We do not review all products in a given category. All opinions expressed on this site are our own.


The most accurate and up-to-date background check service of the bunch. Tons of information at a great price! Most accurate criminal & arrest records by far.

5 star rating (113,872) 5-Star Ratings

Easy to use search with fast and accurate results. One of the more expensive services but worth every penny if you're looking for an accurate background check.


The search was extremely fast but the information was not as accurate as some of the other services. Low price if you're looking for cheap reports.


Intelius is a solid company that has been around forever. The interface was a little dated and hard to use. Information was good but lacking in some areas.

Commonly Asked Questions About Running Background Checks Online

Where Does Background Check Data Come From?

Data from background checks come from government data that regular search engines cannot access. Throughout a person's life, government agencies at the county, state, and federal level collect information about people. For example, a county clerk might have information about a person’s birth certificate and a courthouse might contain criminal records. Much of this data is available to the public. Online background check websites collect this data into easy-to-read reports. Many background check sites like TruthFinder, Been Verified, and Spokeo will also scour various social media to give you a more complete picture (literally, as some sites include photos) of the person you're trying to look up.

What Kind Of Data Is In Background Checks?

Different background check services offer different kinds of data. However, they commonly offer data such as:

How Can I Use Online Background Checks?

Popular uses for online background check sites include checking on people such as:

The background check services we review are NOT credit reporting agencies. That means it is prohibited to to use these sites for any purpose governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). So you can not use them for things like employment screening, tenant screening, or making decisions about credit or insurance eligibility.

How Accurate Is Data In Online Background Checks?

Data in online background checks tend to be highly accurate, though there is no guarantee that 100% of the data will be accurate on all reports. There may occasionally be errors that exclude information about a person, or (less commonly) include inaccurate information on a report. Since each jurisdiction has different laws about public records, the available data is highly influenced by where a person lives.

Are Online Background Checks Free?

No. It costs money to source data and organize it into reports. No legitimate, reputable background check website is free. This is one of those industries where you get what you pay for. Even sites like Zabasearch, People Finders, MyLife, and SpyFly eventually ask for money.

How Much Do Online Background Check Reports Cost?

The pricing model varies from company to company. The most reputable companies allow you to sign up for a month-to-month subscription that allow you to search as many background checks as you want.

Are People Notified When You Pull Their Background Check Report?

No, all background searches are confidential. When you pull a person’s report, they won’t know that you’re looking at their public records. This is one of the things we often hear from our readers as a major concern when running online background checks. Even the smaller companies like eVerify, Radaris, People Looker, and IDtrue claim they have confidential searches.