There are many online services, such as Whitepages and Switchboard, that offer free and paid phone number searches. When looking for the name of a business or residence, search engines such as Google may also provide phone number results.
Intelius has one of the largest databases housing personal data and, like many similar services, offers free searches for phone numbers by name. If the phone number can't be obtained through a basic search, or if more detailed background information is desired, the company offers a variety of reports that include other personal data such as date of birth, relatives and background checks.
Search engines are a handy resource for obtaining phone numbers for businesses, particularly toll-free numbers. Business phone numbers and other contact information can be retrieved by performing a search for the phrase "800 number for" or "contact us," along with the name of the company.
Personal cell phone numbers can be trickier to obtain without paying a fee, but there are a few free options, including search engines and social media sites. Additionally, searchers can use a niche people finder site, such as Pipl or PeekYou. These methods depend on the person having some sort of online profile that includes the phone number, such as Facebook or a career site.