Pipl vs Spokeo: Selecting the Ideal People Search Tool

March 19, 2024

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Searching for people online has become extremely common, whether it’s to reconnect with an old friend, screen a potential date, or conduct background checks. With so many options to choose from, it can be tricky to determine which people search engine is the right fit for your specific needs.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into a detailed comparison of two of the most popular services – Pipl and Spokeo. We’ll look at how they stack up in terms of features, data accuracy, privacy, and more.

By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of the key differences between Pipl and Spokeo and be equipped to select the best people search tool for your particular requirements.

What is Pipl?

Pipl Logo

Founded in 2005, Pipl is a search engine that specializes in aggregating online data to build digital profiles of people. Their massive database combs through social media, public records, professional sites, and more to compile comprehensive identity reports.

With access to over 3 billion profiles globally, Pipl markets itself as an identity verification and risk assessment tool. It provides detailed background checks that businesses can use to validate customers and prevent fraud.

Some of the key features of Pipl include:

  • Email address search – Enter an email and retrieve names, locations, employment details, and social media profiles associated with it.
  • Name search – Input a first and last name and get an overview of any matching online identities.
  • Social media integration – Pipl scrapes profiles from major networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
  • Global reach – Access data from over 200 countries and regions.
  • Customization – Integrates with existing platforms through API and offers tailored packages.
  • Risk analysis – Uses profiling technology to flag suspicious digital identities.

Pipl also offers several premium packages beyond its free basic search:

  • Pipl API – Integrate Pipl’s data into your own systems and tools through the API.
  • Pipl SEARCH – More detailed reports on identities and risk analysis for an annual subscription fee.
  • Pipl PRO – Packages tailored for business needs like fraud, credit risk, or HR background checks.

What is Spokeo?

Spokeo Logo

Founded a year after Pipl in 2006, Spokeo describes itself as an online people search engine and directory, aggregating data from hundreds of sources. It’s designed both for individuals looking to find people as well as businesses running background checks.

Some of the key features and services Spokeo offers:

  • Reverse phone lookup – Input a number to find out who it’s registered to.
  • Address lookup – Enter an address to pull up residents, property records, and sales history.
  • Email search – Get names and profiles associated with an email address.
  • Comprehensive background checks – Criminal records, bankruptcies, age, employment, and education verification.
  • Social media integration – Links profiles found on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and other networks.
  • White pages – Access phone numbers, addresses and family connections.
  • Named, advanced, and corporate searches – Packages tailored for varying needs.
Spokeo Basic People Search

Though focused on US data, Spokeo does provide international search capabilities as well for a fee. They offer a freemium model with packages on monthly or annual basis.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what Pipl and Spokeo offer, let’s dig into a detailed feature comparison.

Pipl vs Spokeo: Detailed Feature Comparison

FeaturePiplSpokeo
Email SearchYesYes
Name SearchYesYes
Phone SearchLimitedYes
Address SearchLimitedYes
International Scope200+ countriesLimited international for fee
Social Media IntegrationYesYes
CustomizationAPI integrationsLimited integrations
PricingFreemium and custom packagesFreemium monthly/annual packages
Data AccuracyHighly accurateIssues reported
PrivacyGDPR compliantMultiple lawsuits over privacy

Based on the table above, we can see some clear distinctions between the two services:

  • Comprehensive contact data – Spokeo offers more options in terms of searching by phone, address, and name. Pipl focuses more heavily on email lookups.
  • Global reach – Pipl has the advantage here with broad access to international data sources. Spokeo is concentrated on US records.
  • Customization – Pipl’s API makes it easy to integrate into existing business systems and tools. Spokeo has more limited integration capabilities.
  • Pricing structure – Spokeo offers set monthly and annual packages while Pipl allows more customized packages.
  • Data accuracy – Pipl seems to have stricter sourcing guidelines, resulting in higher accuracy. Spokeo has faced some scrutiny over inaccurate or outdated reports.
  • Privacy – By complying with regulations like GDPR, Pipl maintains better privacy standards compared to some lawsuits Spokeo has faced.

Focusing on these key differences allows us to better evaluate which tool aligns better with specific people search needs.

Key Factors to Consider When Comparing Pipl vs Spokeo

Beyond just feature comparisons, here are some of the major factors you should keep in mind when deciding between using Pipl or Spokeo:

Data Accuracy and Relevance

For searches where up-to-date, reliable data is critical, Pipl seems to be the safer choice over Spokeo based on user feedback and lawsuits filed over inaccurate Spokeo reports.

International Scope

If you need access to global records outside the US, Pipl’s broader international data capabilities make it a better fit than Spokeo’s primary concentration on American records.

Customization Options

Pipl’s open API provides more seamless integration into business tools and platforms. Spokeo offers limited integration capabilities.

Privacy Standards

Pipl adheres to modern privacy regulations while Spokeo has faced legal issues over perceived violations, making Pipl a better option for privacy-focused users.

Pricing and Budget

Pipl allows flexible custom packages while Spokeo has set monthly/annual pricing, so Pipl may be a better choice for specialized budget needs.

By keeping these key factors in mind, you can zero in on the people search engine that aligns with your specific requirements.

When Should You Use Pipl Over Spokeo?

Based on its strengths and features, here are some of the main use cases where Pipl has an advantage over Spokeo:

  • Email investigation – If you’re starting with just an email address and need to trace it back to an identity, Pipl offers robust email search tools.
  • International searches – Pipl’s breadth of global data makes it ideal if you need to search across records from multiple countries.
  • Custom packages – Pipl allows you to tailor bundled services suited for your budget and needs.
  • Strict accuracy requirements – If you need rigorously vetted data, Pipl’s accuracy stands out over some of the concerns that have been raised over Spokeo’s reports.
  • Fraud or risk assessment – Pipl’s risk analysis capabilities provide an extra layer of protection for identifying suspicious digital patterns.
  • Privacy-focused users – By complying with modern regulations, Pipl is a safer bet for privacy-cautious users.
Pipl Search

In short, Pipl moves ahead of Spokeo when you need rigorous email investigation, global scope, tailored packages, verified accuracy, fraud protection, or heightened privacy.

When Should You Use Spokeo Over Pipl?

Spokeo isn’t without its own advantages in the right circumstances:

  • Quick contact details – If you’re looking for fast phone numbers, addresses, or family connections, Spokeo’s expansive white pages directory can be useful.
  • US-focused searches – For American records specifically, Spokeo offers robust data sources concentrated within the US.
  • Social media integration – Spokeo provides extensive social media scraping and network linking.
  • Flat-rate pricing – If you need simple, predictable pricing, Spokeo’s monthly/annual plans offer flat rates.
Spokeo Report Quality

In summary, Spokeo shines when quick contact details, US records, social media connections, and flat-rate plans are your main requirements.

5 Pro Tips for Comparing People Search Sites

Beyond just Pipl and Spokeo, there are countless people search engines and directories out there. Here are 5 expert tips for assessing any people search tool:

  • Scrutinize sources – Look closely at where the tool pulls its data from. Prioritize those with trusted, verified sources.
  • Check for transparency – Legitimate sites should be upfront about their data practices, privacy policy, and access limits.
  • Try before you buy – Take advantage of free trials before committing to understand the quality of results.
  • Compare accuracy – Conduct sample searches on multiple sites using your own information to gauge accuracy.
  • Understand legal obligations – Be aware of regulations like FCRA when using background check services professionally.

Following these tips will ensure you select a reliable, secure people search platform tailored for your specific purposes.

Key Takeaways: Choosing Between Pipl vs Spokeo

  • Pipl offers robust email search, international scope, custom packages, high accuracy, and strong privacy standards. Spokeo provides quick contact details, US focus, social media links, and flat-rate pricing.
  • Key factors for comparison include data accuracy, global reach, customization, privacy protections, and budget options.
  • Pipl is better for email investigation, global searches, tailored packages, strict accuracy needs, fraud protection, and privacy caution.
  • Spokeo is preferable for quick contact details, US records, social media integration, and predictable flat-rate pricing.
  • Scrutinize data sources, check for transparency, try free trials, compare accuracy, and understand legal obligations when assessing search tools.
  • Both Pipl and Spokeo offer useful capabilities based on specific people search needs and priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pipl and Spokeo

What is the difference between Pipl and Spokeo?

The key differences are Pipl’s strength in email search, international data, custom packages, high accuracy, and privacy versus Spokeo’s advantages in quick contact details, US focus, social media links, and flat-rate pricing.

Is Pipl more accurate than Spokeo?

Yes, most comparisons find Pipl provides higher accuracy by sourcing data from more strict, verified sources while Spokeo has faced some criticism over outdated or incorrect information.

Does Spokeo have better social media integration than Pipl?

Spokeo is stronger when it comes to aggregating identities and profiles from major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Can you do international searches on Spokeo?

Spokeo is primarily focused on US records and data, but does provide some international search capabilities for an additional fee.

Is Pipl compliant with data privacy regulations?

Yes, Pipl adheres to modern privacy regulations like GDPR, while Spokeo has faced some legal suits over alleged privacy violations.

Does Pipl offer custom packages?

Yes, one advantage Pipl has is the ability to customize bundled services tailored to your specific budgetary needs.

Is Spokeo cheaper than Pipl?

It depends – Spokeo offers set flat monthly/annual rates that some may find more budget-friendly, while Pipl provides customized packages that can be more affordable for specialized needs.

Which is better for running background checks?

They both provide extensive background check services. Pipl goes deeper on email identity investigation while Spokeo has broad contact details.

Can individuals use Spokeo?

Yes, Spokeo offers packages tailored for personal use in addition to business screening, though some features like criminal records may require compliance steps.

In Summary: Assess Your Needs, Then Pick Pipl or Spokeo

While both Pipl and Spokeo are powerful people search engines in their own right, ultimately the best option depends on your specific needs and priorities:

  • If you need accurate email investigation, international scope, tailored packages, fraud protection, or emphasis on privacy – Pipl is likely the better choice.
  • If you want quick contact details, US records, flat pricing, or social media connections – Spokeo may be preferable.

Take the time to carefully assess the key factors we covered – data accuracy, global reach, customization, privacy protections, pricing, and more.

Consider when Pipl’s strengths outweigh Spokeo’s advantages or vice versa for your goals. Leverage free trials to test options first-hand.

By mapping your requirements to the tools available, you can confidently select the ideal people search platform to provide the identity information you need in your personal or professional endeavors.