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Free Search For People - Some Internet Detective Work to Free Search for People

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Whether tracking down classmates for a reunion or looking for a lost family member, a free search for people provide a quick means of confirming a person’s location and contact information.

“Free” is a relative term to most free search for people sites. Most sites will hook users with an address and a little biographical information, then offer additional details only if the user upgrades to a paid version. Intelius, People Lookup, MyLife, and other big people search companies have similar models for catching potential customers with a free but highly limited service.

They’re not all advertizing ploys, however; the White Pages lives up to its real life counterpart by providing a free phonebook database for its users. Though not as up-to-date as 411 directory assistance or an annually published phone book, White Pages is a 100% free starting point when trying to look someone up online. Users enter in a name and preferably a location then discover any public records on address, household, or telephone number. Sponsored links offer to send users to other paid websites, but at least white pages provides enough info to possibly contact someone.

White pages allows users to sign in using Yahoo, Google, Windows Live, or a separate account on white pages to update their contact information on that site. Users are of course on the honor system, so those trying to stay anonymous usually can.

A free search for people can also be done through a bit of light detective work. Social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Flickr provide means for contacting individuals using online messaging systems that cost nothing. Users can also confirm the identities of sought parties through these sites’ ample use of photographs, bios, and other information.

The last option is crossing fingers and logging on to a search engine. While searching for a person, put quotations around their full name (e.g. “Joe Average”) and other keywords that might identify them. Good keywords include not only locations but also job titles and interests. All sorts of sites may turn up from such a search, including blogs, campus events, and hobby sites.

Though many sites claim to offer a “free search for people,” they provide so little information that they are rarely worth their weight in mouse clicks. The White Pages, social networking sites, and search engines provide alternatives for truly free people searching, giving casual internet users the ability to track down old contacts online.

Please note that this article lays no claim to paid sites being scams. The White Pages are limited, and the detective work described above is more of a shot in the dark than a surefire solution. Paid sites often provide background checks, ancestry records, and other information to their subscribers, and their collections of names and numbers are far more reliable than those provided by free people search alternatives.

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