Free Reverse Phone Directory Options Explained.
Do you know what a free reverse phone directory is, and what it can be used for? A reverse phone directory works in exactly the same way as any regular phone directory, except instead of looking up a name and address to find out someones phone number, you use their phone number to look up their name and address. Normal phone directories are generally free, and include information which the phone owner has agreed should be included, so they can be found by friends family and others who are looking for them. In theory the information held within a "regular" directory and a reverse directory is exactly the same, however there is a major difference between them - privacy.
When a phone number is created (when you move to a new house, for example) the details can be added to a phone directory which is seen as public information. However you are able to "opt-out" and become unlisted, safeguarding your basic privacy and preventing sales calls being made to your home by telemarketers. Assuming your information IS listed in the phone directory however, it is much less of a security and privacy problem letting someone search based on your name and address to find your phone number (from a phone book, for example), vs. letting someone search simply on a phone number to find your name and address. This is because when someone uses your name to search they already know who you are. However, should someone be able to discover your name and address from that phone number using a reverse phone directory? This is a topic that is subject to considerable debate.
There are of course legitimate reasons why someone would want to use a free reverse phone directory. For example, when you receive annoying, or crank calls and wish to find out who is making them. Similarly if you received a call to your home and are unable to identify who it was, but need to get back to them - you may have no other way to contact them other than to use a reverse directory lookup.
Now that we have discovered what a free reverse phone directory IS, let us analyze if such a service can be found for free using the internet. Certainly it is possible to use the free finder websites such as the online white pages - they can help with many people and phone searches using the public opt-in databases. However there are many things you cannot do using such a free service, including searching for information about cellular phone numbers, and fax and pager numbers - in addition, the information you receive using a free search may be too basic or limited, or may not return any information at all.
In terms of cell phone numbers, there are a number of ways to try and run a reverse lookup to discover who owns the number. The first and most obvious method is to use google.com or yahoo.com and search the internet. It is amazing how many people have used their name and cell phone number in websites and web pages. You may get lucky. The second method is to use one of the free reverse cell phone directories, which are operated on an opt-in basis, or which include data compiled from public phone books and directories. In some cases, you are allowed to search for other records only in exchange for adding your own number and details to the database. As you can imagine, there are very small numbers of people participating in such sites and so the number of records is typically very low.
Third, there exist some very useful websites which claim to offer a way to search many cell phone numbers, in addition to unlisted residential number records. These sites are not free, they tend to charge a one-time fee for access, but the best sites offer complete money-back guarantees if you are unsuccessful in your search, and the wealth of information and searchable databases is impressive. They offer searches such as reverse cell lookups, email searches, court records, people finder searches, some government searches, even births and deaths. Many of these paid sites also claim to access the same information sources that private investigators use.
The question is this - are the paid sites worth it or not? If they can provide the best chance of finding the information you seek, saving you hours and perhaps days of searching, then yes, especially when you consider they will refund your money if you are not satisfied.
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