Intelius is a website with numerous tools to help with its goal to find all the public information that exists on a person from criminal records to social media presences. How well do I think it performs in its searches though?
Intelius has multiple features that could be hard to keep track of, but the quality of the website makes it easier to keep track of those aspects. The information they gather can be used to see your records or the records of people you know. This makes it great for finding your internet presence and the information others can find on you.
- Free searches available
- Able to look yourself up
- Customer support
- Better search options for members
- Self-Search can mess up common names
- Some options are only available through a membership
- Not a product many will use frequently
- Reverse Adress Lookup
- Reverse Phone Lookup
- Public Records Search
- Background Check
- People Search
What Is Intelius?
Intelius has two goals in mind for its users. The first is to learn the public records and background information of anyone you want to find. The second is to find out what people can see about yourself and what your publicly available records are.
These searches can cast a wide net, pinning down every note of information that can be found. This would be a problem if there wasn’t the option to make these searches more narrow to look for specific details like background checks, online presence, or a reverse phone lookup. This can be helpful when you need one piece of information fast.
Intelius comes with two main features that make up the bulk of its product. The first is a free search available for broader searches. These aren’t the best for specific searches but can give you a broad sense and a lot of information on yourself or someone else’s online presence.
When doing a full search on yourself it will give you questions about yourself to narrow the search down. It still has the issue of common names that may still lead to the wrong person being picked out.
The feature is the more narrow searches that become much easier to use with a membership subscription. It gives a boost to the quality of the searches, but you should ask yourself if that will justify the added cost. These additions include more specific searches like more encompassing reverse phone lookups, background checks with more records, and other bits of data not available with their free search.
I’ve found using Intelius to be no different than any other public record search engine that I’ve seen before. Just like with the rest, hiccups feel common.
The bulk of these come from common names belonging to countless people in a similar area. The search engine just doesn’t know who is the right person to pin down sometimes. Still, I’ve seen this issue be much worse on other public record search engines.
Finding information on myself took around three tries to get accurate. This is taking my common name into account, and I would call it the average number of attempts it takes these search engines to get the right person with my name.
For less common names these problems are basically non-existent. Less common names get narrowed down fast. It still has a chance of grabbing the wrong person, but having some information on that individual prior to the search makes it easy.
Overall Intelius handled the test runs well. With me searching for a few test people and myself, I got a good idea of the scope of the product. There isn’t much to complain about other than those occasional bumps in the search.
Who’s Intelius For?
I feel there is plenty of people who can use the Intelius database. I’m prefacing this with the notion that people should limit its use for personal reasons. Sign-up, try to reconnect with people, find out what your online presence and available records are, and know more about people.
Intelius is a tool that some people downright shouldn’t use. There are obvious ones, like companies not being allowed to screen their employees right before a promotion.
Anything that goes in a legal grey area or is an outright illegal use of screening people should be a clear reason not to use this service. Still, I wanted to make sure I made that as clear as possible here so that no one gets the wrong idea about what they should do with Intelius.
What Are the Capabilities of Intelius?
Intelius’ ability to dig into records is impressive, but it has limits. The biggest one is that it draws primarily from US sources. This means that their product probably won’t work well for anyone that doesn’t have a record within the United States.
A frequent issue I’ve found is that Intelius has trouble when it comes to common names. This is a problem I’ve noticed with nearly every service like this, so it’s not an issue that I see going away anytime soon. If you don’t have enough exact information about them already it can be hard to pin them down against a backdrop of potentially hundreds or even thousands of people with the same name.
Should You Buy It?
Intelius having a free search option means that the only purchasing there is to do is getting a membership that opens up further features and searches. The question then becomes, are these added features enough value for whatever you’re planning to use Intelius for?
There are a few reasons the answer may be yes if you’re interested in a public record search engine. If you want to keep track of your personal records, have a reason to keep track of another person’s open records, or want to find an old friend it will have its uses. However you plan to use Intelius, just remember that you still have to follow laws on who you’re allowed to get information on.
How to Buy an Intelius Membership
If you’re at all recommended in getting an Intelius membership then you need to go to their website and sign-up. You will find that here.
I’d say it’s worth giving the free search a few tries before you go into the membership. It can be worth it, but it’s best to get a feel for the service first. If nothing else, they do offer decent support to their members and the questions they may have.
How does Intelius compare to the alternatives?
Intelius is a part of a niche but booming market. The way I see it, there is no shortage of options that offer similar services with minor differences in the area of public record search engines. I’d like to go over a few of the more prominent ones to show that they’re all generally similar, but have key differences that set them apart.
Truthfinder is the basic gold standard of public record search engines. They offer the basics of the service with a wide variety of options available through their membership. If you want the most basic of search options, then they handle it better than any other service.
Truthfinder is great but limited. It doesn’t offer quite as many search options as others and that holds it back. For example, while they have reverse phone lookup capabilities they don’t have the option for a reverse address lookup on their main page.
Instant Checkmate is another strong contender for a public record search engine. It offers the usual suspects of public records, reverse phone lookups, and criminal records searches while also offering one type of search I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere else. The inmate search does exactly what it sounds like, it searches for inmates and convicts.
This is a niche search among niches, but if it’s what you’re after then Instant Checkmate is for you. Their free service also comes with a downside of being far slower than the other free options offered by other services while still being as limited. It’s a good option like any other, but it does have its irksome limitations.
Intelius is a quality product. There may be a lot of public record search engines growing out there, but this one puts quality and customer support at its front.
I would like to say that I think Intelius is a product you will either get a lot of use out of or will use once on yourself and never touch again. Finding people you’ve lost contact with can be so simple with Intelius, and keeping tabs on where phone numbers are coming from can suddenly be an actual option. That’s not a feature that everyone will be interested in, and that means that Intelius might not be the product for you.
I wouldn’t recommend Intelius to everyone. Like I said before, there are legal grey areas and downright illegal applications when using this product. You can’t use this to screen employees, tenets, or for anything else of that nature.
This can simplify the process if you’ve got reasons to search through records and don’t want to do it yourself. I’d recommend it based on the quality of the searches.
If finding information on people or reverse phone lookups are features that you will find ample amounts of usage out of, then there is no better service out there that I’ve yet to find. It’s a niche product, but it fills its niche well.