Best Criminal Background Check for 2021 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

best criminal background check

Want to know the truth about your friends? How about your online date? Whoever you want to know more about, you can do it with the right background check service.

Thankfully, we have done the research so you don’t need to! Figure out which one is best for you from the list below and get started. It couldn’t be simpler!

Our Best Criminal Background Check Reviews and Comparisons

1. Intelius

Product Highlights

Intelius is one of the leaders in the provision of public data. They offer many other services like phone directories, people search, and reverse address lookup alongside the criminal background check.

Their screening process is simple and anyone can conduct one with the right information. Whether you want to screen your online date, yourself, or potential employees, Intelius allows you to do just that.


  • The report includes criminal record, marriage and divorce history, bankruptcies, liens, and lawsuits
  • Works on smartphones and desktops
  • Quick results

What We Like About Intelius

The background checks conducted by Intelius are decent. They are one-offs to allow you to reassure yourself that the people you spend your time with aren’t going to cause you grief.

The subscription costs start pretty low, which we appreciate. Plus, you get a limitless number of general searches with this membership plan.

Additionally, they do include a lot of information in their checks. Intelius provides education history where other services fail to do so. You will be able to find out the person’s high schools, universities, or colleges. 

What We Do Not Like About Intelius

The main concern we have with Intelius is the pricing structure. Some of their fees are unclear and rather confusing. We aren’t too keen on a company that isn’t 100% transparent with their chargers but they do offer a fab background check.

Other than this, there isn’t too much we don’t like about it. We have found that a few reports we ran were inaccurate. But the success to failure ratio is so high that this didn’t bother us too much.


  • Includes education and work history in the background check
  • Easy to use interface
  • Get results quickly
  • Affordable subscriptions


  • Unclear prices for some products
  • Not always accurate

2. Been Verified 


Product Highlights

Been Verified is an online background check service that looks through billions of records to give you the most accurate information possible.

As with Intelius, it offers more than just people search tools — all of which use aggregated public data. It can bring up social media accounts, criminal history, property records, and so much more.

Put simply, it’s the place to be for ensuring you’re in safe hands.


  • Includes lots of information in their background checks including criminal records, possible relatives, age, address history, photos, divorce records, sex offender information, social media profiles, and more
  • Comes with a mobile app
  • Conducts VIN and unclaimed money searches

What We Like About Been Verified

Without a doubt, Been Verified offers amazingly comprehensive reports. From a simple search, you can find all sorts of information including VIN numbers, social media accounts, available pictures, and loads more. For the modest price point, we can’t get enough of this.

The company also offers a mobile app that works seamlessly on all kinds of smartphones. But even if you end up having problems, the fantastic customer support team is there to help.

The results load relatively quickly, making for a stress-free situation. Plus, the user experience is rather lovely and not at all confusing!

What We Do Not Like About Been Verified

Sadly, Been Verified doesn’t offer a free trial. You can’t check out the services before you part ways with your cash, which is something we do not appreciate. Maybe that’s something they will bring out in the future, but as it stands, you can’t try before you buy.

Additionally, the system does lag sometimes. To tell you the truth, we are nitpicking here but it can become quite annoying at times.


  • In-depth reports
  • Comes with a mobile app
  • The pricing is simple and clear
  • Excellent customer service


  • Sometimes lags
  • No trial before you buy scheme

3. People Finders 


Product Highlights

People Finders is an extremely quick way to discover public records for anyone online. It generates a comprehensive report of criminal histories, properties, relatives, contact information, and so much more, all from a simple name search.

The company has access to over 43 billion public records in the United States of America to allow you to go further with your background checks.


  • Generates user-friendly reports
  • All reports are accurate
  • Affordable subscription plans (although they do have some expensive ones)

What We Like About People Finders

The reports this service generates are wonderfully easy to navigate through. It allows you to skip between relevant sections with a click of a button so you can find the parts you’re concerned about.

While its subscriptions are pretty nicely priced, you will pay a rather large amount if you just need one doing. But, this is something we like about it since it’s the most affordable one on this list (subscription-wise).

As far as accuracy goes, we were blown away with the up-to-date information! Seriously, it blew most of the others off the water.

What We Do Not Like About People Finders

For all of its advantages, it doesn’t include social media, marriage, or work history in the results. This is pretty unfortunate. Why? Because nowadays, you can find out almost anything from someone’s social media accounts. Excluding this information is a big disappointment.

The price for a single background check is expensive. For something that doesn’t include socials or relationship records, we are unsure whether it’s worth it.


  • Accuracy is above average (better than most of the others on this list)
  • Subscriptions are nicely priced
  • Appealing report layout
  • Easy-to-use interface


  • Expensive background check reports
  • No social media information in check reports
  • No marriage or work records included

4. PeopleLooker 


Product Highlights

PeopleLooker is a powerful background check tool that delivers the most reliable results. It scours the internet to find the most up to date information out there.

The nifty program also records your searches so you can set up notification alerts if any changes are made. It’s definitely one for the serious background checkers! Anyone who is just a bit curious probably doesn’t need something so powerful.


  • Unlimited searches
  • Comes with a mobile app for on-the-go checking
  • Clear payment plan
  • Fast results

What We Like About PeopleLooker

When we first opened up our PeopleLooker account we were mesmerized. And no, we weren’t mesmerized by the sheer amount of information; we were mesmerized by the beauty of their site.

The gorgeous design lends itself to the minimalistic search engine they use. Unlike other background check sites that give you an overwhelmingly high number of options, PeopleLooker keeps things simple and easy to understand.

All you have to do is type in the person’s full name and hit the “Search” button. After that, the results will load! Yup, it’s that easy and we love it.

What We Do Not Like About PeopleLooker

Even though the website is gorgeous, some of the search results are only available on the mobile app. We found this to be pretty constricting and frustrating when we were conducting research on our laptops.

Moreover, depending on the information you are looking for, you might have to pay a bit extra to access it. Whether this matters to you or not is up to you — for us, it was a tad annoying.


  • Gorgeous interface and website
  • Turns up fast results
  • Simple, minimalistic search engine
  • Comes with a mobile app


  • Must pay extra for some information
  • Some searches are for mobile-only

5. Instant Checkmate 


Product Highlights

Instant Checkmate is the place to be for all your background check needs. You can find arrest records, phone numbers, email addresses, social media profiles, and loads more from a simple search.

With a comfortable search experience, it seems to back its claims — which is something to be admired!


  • Clean, sleek-looking site
  • Provides reports of comprehensive public information
  • Finds hidden information

What We Like About Instant Checkmate

Instant Checkmate doesn’t include a free trial. However, we aren’t mad about this. Why? Because the trial only costs $1 and you can use it for 5 days to decide whether you like it. 

Alongside this, there are various search methods that take you deeper into databases where hidden information is bound to be uncovered. This might seem a bit scary (you’re not alone if you relate) but within their monthly subscription, they include identity theft protection! It’s a win-win.

We also love the search tool. It is insanely easy to use and there is no faffing around for the results. Everything loads right up (although it does take its time occasionally)!

What We Do Not Like About Instant Checkmate

While the interface is great, we were surprised that we couldn’t purchase single reports. The only way you can use the site is if you pay for a subscription (once your free trial is up). This isn’t a huge deal but it was big enough to make us a little irritated.

Other than this, we were rather let down by the customer service team. The response time is debatable and some of our requests just weren’t answered! 


  • Only $1 for a 5-day trial
  • The search tool is easy to use
  • Comes with a mobile app
  • Hidden information comes out in results


  • Customer support needs improving
  • Not able to buy singular reports

6. PublicSeek 


Product Highlights

PublicSeek is an in-depth platform where you can search public records to learn more about someone’s past. It displays the results cleanly, so you can easily see potential red flags like any criminal activity and/or legal actions made against them.

It was known previously as SeekVerify but changed its name a few years ago. Still, the company has access to the 10 billion records it listed under the former name.


  • Searches the federal and state criminal database
  • Searches the sex offender register
  • Good customer service

What We Like About PublicSeek

The customer service blew us away! No matter the time of day, you can contact them for billing and general support. It seems that someone is always happy to help you out.

Moreover, their screening process is incredibly in-depth. Not only do they look through the standard records, but they also search through financial histories and social media, allowing you to see everything.

We particularly like the fact that they are continuously updating their website. By continuously we mean every 24 hours! You are bound to be given the most recent information, regardless of the time you search. For the price point, you’ll be hard-pushed to find anything else like this.

What We Do Not Like About PublicSeek

This company states that they offer a one-day trial for $1. However, it seems that they haven’t been clear about this. As soon as you sign up, you end up paying full price — not really something you want to happen!

Other than that, however, everything works well.


  • Performs in-depth searches of the state and federal criminal databases
  • Scours the sex offender register
  • Offers 24/7 customer service
  • Provides nicely detailed reports


  • Unclear about the $1 offer and pricing schemes

7. Truth Finder 


Product Highlights

Truth Finder is one of the best online background check services out there. It provides a comprehensive set of information that isn’t always accurate on other sites. It’s certainly one of the more in-depth services we’ve talked about on this list.


  • Comes with a handy mobile app for iOS and Android
  • You get unlimited searches with a membership
  • Provides comprehensive information

What We Like About Truth Finder

The information that we collected on Truth Finder is scarily accurate. We can’t claim that it will be 100% true for all the checks. However, we can say with decent authority that it certainly works 8 times out of 10.

Not only is it accurate, but the reports are also incredibly easy to read which we love. There’s nothing worse than scouring through a page that is nothing but huge blocks of text!

Moreover, they are extremely transparent with their pricing and how their information can be used. Remember, the service utilizes public records and can’t be used for assessing employability.

What We Do Not Like About Truth Finder

On the downside, Truth Finder doesn’t offer a trial period. There is no way to know for sure if their reports will bring up the information you’re looking for until you actually pay. They would massively benefit from having a trial — even if it was just for a day!

Similar to Instant Checkmate, you can’t purchase a single report. To use the service, you have no choice but to sign up for a membership. Sadly, this just doesn’t cut it for some people.

Finally, we think they should cut out the horoscope and astrological sign aspect. While some people use this compatibility as a legitimate reason to cut someone off, the general market does not, making it somewhat off-putting.


  • Comes with a mobile app
  • Shows social media results
  • Shows recent contact information
  • Unlimited searches with a membership


  • No trial period
  • Cannot buy singular reports
  • Unnecessary importance placed on astrology

8. ID True


Product Highlights

If you are looking for a tool that is made for checking out your “kind of” friends and acquaintances quickly, ID True will become your right-hand man.

This service is the fastest one we have investigated — no more wasting time! Not to mention that it boasts an incredibly attractive price structure. 


  • Fastest-loading results (30 seconds!)
  • Affordable background checks
  • Simplistic interface

What We Like About ID True

Our favorite thing about ID True is the fact that you can gain access to a boatload of information. Whether you are looking for sex offender information, eviction notices, tax liens, or social media accounts, it will show you everything in about 30 seconds.

The information in its database is updated each day so you can be sure that the results are as accurate as possible. We haven’t found this in many background check services so we were extremely appreciative of this.

Their search engine is wonderfully easy to use. It has been stripped right back to the basic information to allow you to search meaningfully with ease. No more faffing around with search parameters!

What We Do Not Like About ID True

Like a few others on this list, you can’t purchase a single report. Instead, you have to sign up for a membership to use the service.

Our other dislike about it is that it only has two types of search. Yes, we know that we also considered this to be a good thing. However, it does somewhat prevent super in-depth searches. 


  • Unlimited searches with a membership
  • Easy to use system
  • Results in 30 seconds
  • Transparent pricing


  • Only has two types of searches
  • Cannot purchase singular reports

9. DeepSearchPro 


Product Highlights

DeepSearchPro gives you unlimited access to one of the widest public record databases in the United States of America. None of the people that you search will know that you’ve conducted it so there’s no need to be worried about being caught out.

The information you find can’t be used for housing or employability purposes. However, it can be used to determine whether or not you should carry on the connection!


  • Shows bankruptcy and property records
  • Comes with a risk-free trial
  • Unlimited searches

What We Like About DeepSearchPro

The trial period is a substantial three days long, which allows you to check out all the services that DeepSearchPro has to offer. Afterward, you can even set up a short-term subscription. We appreciate the flexibility of the pricing model a lot.

Alongside this, the search results include an amazing amount of information. You will be able to find out a whole host of things including traffic violations, drug charges, sex offenses, and a bunch of other pressing matters.

What We Do Not Like About DeepSearchPro

Our main problem with this one is that the pricing structure is rather confusing. Even the trial period is tricky to sign up for as there are so many options.


  • Gives lots of information
  • Unlimited searches with membership
  • Trial is risk-free


  • Confusing pricing structure

10. US Search 


Product Highlights

US Search is an incredibly popular company thanks to the huge variety of reports it provides. While the company has struggled to keep up with the ever-advancing tech, it is one of the most reliable check systems around.


  • In-depth property records looked through
  • Runs an instant criminal search
  • Shows social media accounts

What We Like About US Search

This company provides the most in-depth property searches we’ve seen. Alongside this, they run a full-on social media search that provides a breathtaking insight into the person you’re looking up.

The wide range of searches it offers proves to be one of the industry’s leaders. 

What We Do Not Like About US Search

The website has not kept up with the times. It is incredibly basic looking. However, it is still easy to navigate if you can get over this fact.

Additionally, we aren’t incredibly keen on how hard it is to find the prices.


  • Pricing for basic searches is very low
  • The company has years of experience
  • Pulls information from reliable resources
  • Good track record


  • The site hasn’t kept up with newer technology
  • Fairly expensive for in-depth searches

Final Verdict

Whichever one you choose, you’re bound to get the information you’re looking for. However, we’d suggest that you go with Truth Finder for your background checks due to the sheer quality and premium service.

Background Hawk Staff

Background Hawk Staff

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