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What Is A Reverse Phone Number Lookup?

What Is A Reverse Phone Number Lookup?
April 13, 2022

We've all been in situations where we've received calls from unknown numbers but a gut feeling holds us back from answering those calls. 


In those moments, we're more curious to know the identity of the caller themselves than find out what they have to say, or if they even have anything worthwhile to say.


With a reverse phone number lookup, you can find out that detail. 


On the internet, there are a few free options for this, and some of them will even provide the person's name and address. 


While reverse lookup is more convenient and less expensive for landline numbers, it may also be used to obtain information on cellphone numbers.

a woman holding a phone with an incoming call from an unknown number


What Is A Reverse Phone Lookup?


With reverse phone lookups, instead of entering someone's name into a people search service to find their phone number, you start with a phone number and use a service to reverse search for and discover who the number belongs to.


This service is especially useful if you get a call from an unfamiliar number, or if you scribbled down a phone number without any further information.


There were published reverse phone directories comparable to phone books, before the advent of computers and cell phones, that were largely used by law enforcement and private detectives. 


Cross-directories were another name for them. These no longer exist and have largely moved online, much like the printed phonebook with white and yellow pages.


How To Do A Free Reverse Phone Lookup:


You can get a basic reverse phone lookup done for free by search engine giant Google. Google (along with other search engines) indexes the phone numbers, addresses, and other contact info of registered businesses on the platform, which it then runs the phone number provided by you against. 


However, if the number is associated with a residential address, search engines will not index it. If your search engine doesn't lead you in the correct direction, you'll need to use a reverse lookup service.


When using free reverse lookup services, you'll need to exercise a lot of discretion. 


Some of these sites are not completely free, only drawing you in with the promise of a free reverse phone lookup. Some others actually gather your data only to sell them on.

a woman's hand holding a mobile phone


Best Reverse Phone Lookup Services


These services are not free, but they are accurate and safe, and they provide the best solutions when you need to anonymously look up a phone number:




Spokeo is more than just a phone directory. Users can input a name, physical address, or email address to discover more about someone in addition to searching for a phone number. 

spokeo logo


Users must register to unlock a full profile, which includes personal details, contact information, family background, court records, and even photos. 


A free search will yield some basic information about the person, but to unlock a complete profile, users must get registered on the platform.'s database covered more than 180 million Americans, or more than 80% of all adults in the United States, at the start of 2008. 


In North America alone, this site receives about 30 million unique monthly visits. International phone numbers can also be looked up. 

white pages cover page


Aside from the owner's name, address, and map, the site also provides an estimate of their age. It also gives neighbors comparable information. 


You can also receive background information on the phone owner for a cost.




Zlookup markets itself as the only free reverse phone lookup service apart from Google. 

zlookup phone number search service page


According to its creators, the thirst to help reduce phone abuse, rather than any real drive for profit, inspired the development of the service.



To use the service, simply key in the whole phone number you're looking for and hit the 'Name Lookup' button.

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