Net Detective Software: An Outdated Search Tool From the Past

Net Detective Software
Read an overview of Net Detective and Net Detective Plus software

Net Detective Software and Net Detective Plus

Following is a review of the Net Detective software program. Please note that we are not the distributor of this program, nor do we recommend using it. Please see our background check section for a list of powerful software, tools, and online services we recommend for detectives. If you’re looking for public records, check out BeenVerified.

Also, check out our review of the best mobile phone spy software tools. We’re providing the following for informational purposes only.

About twenty years ago, Net Detective was one of the internet’s most famous private investigator software programs. The product was advertised all over the internet and claimed that the product could be used to find anyone, run free background checks, and find information and data that regular search engines could not. Hundreds of affiliate websites were packed with misinformation about the product’s capabilities. The websites made outrageous claims like:

  • Run free unlimited background checks.
  • Find the TRUTH about anyone!
  • Access your own FBI file.
  • Find criminal records, marriage and divorce records, and other public records.
  • Learn how to verify your credit reports and credit information
  • Explore hidden investigation websites that aren’t listed in search engines
  • Track down people who owe you money (debtors) for collections purposes
  • Investigate your family history and conduct genealogy investigations
  • Verify information on an employment application

Distributor Claims

The distributor claims the Net Detective service includes an ever-growing amount of proprietary data and public records from various sources. The current amount publicized on the website is over 1.1 billion records compiled from hundreds of different record sources.

They claim that the multiple record sources and databases help make it a unique people search tool compared to other online sources and detective software.  The search software lets you locate more information about people and find missing persons faster.

In addition to the people search and background check capabilities, the web detective product marketing materials say that a Net Detective login can be used to access an investigator’s “online black book of information,” which consists of intelligence on millions of online information resources.

It suggests that popular search engines like Google or Yahoo only index some information available online.  Most real information is hidden sources the average person doesn’t see.

The online tool also includes “how-to” articles that explain how to obtain additional data and information. The service does not provide access to this information but does explain the process for accessing it on your own. Again, this information can easily be obtained via a regular search engine and is likely more reliable and up-to-date.

  • Learn how unlisted phone numbers are located
  • Learn how to check adoption records
  • Learn how to Search for Unclaimed Money and unclaimed funds
  • Learn how to get your Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) file. Includes sample letters and how to read and understand your FBI report
  • Learn how to protect yourself from Identity Theft

Who Uses Net Detective?

The product is targeted toward just about anyone. Affiliate marketers (those who resell the product for a commission) put their twist on the product’s capabilities and customize their content toward their website’s target audience. In reality, anyone could use the product to look up addresses and find information.

Some marketers suggest avoiding hiring a private eye or paying for more expensive background check services by using the product. Other resellers direct their messaging directly toward private investigators, police officers, legal professionals, and those in related professions.

The product is not a viable replacement for a real detective. If you are considering hiring a detective, please visit our P.I. Directory for a list of detectives in your area.

Does Net Detective Work?

During our last review, the product appeared to offer nothing more than an outdated white-page search functionality. We were able to run basic address and phone number searches and review a list of results. The results appeared similar to those obtained from any free white-page search site.

The distributor suggests that the data includes records from other sources such as public records, voting records, business filings, customer surveys, international phone numbers, and more. Although we could not verify these claims, we did not notice that the results were accurate based on the sample address and phone number lookups we conducted.

To be clear, the product cannot be used for the following purposes:

  • Lookup marriage and divorce records
  • Obtain property records
  • Pull public birth records
  • Obtain cell phone numbers
  • Access court records
  • No DMV Records or License plate data is available
  • Social security numbers are not available and cannot be searched or verified

Distribution Method

Initially, the product was distributed in a software download format but eventually changed to an online-only service accessed via a web browser. Since it is web-based, no software is downloaded or installed on the local computer, tablet, or mobile phone. A login ID is issued upon signup, and the search tool is accessed via a web browser. Based on our tests and reviews, the products operate with all significant web browsers.

Various Product Names

The online search software has been sold under many different names. In addition to the standard Net Detective, the product has been distributed under names such as Web Detective and Urgent Detective.

In addition, the product name is often supplemented with a version number or a year, such as Net Detective 8.0 or 2013. All of these names refer to the same software tool.

Some competing products have surfaced over the years, claiming access to the same tools and data. However, these are cheap copies of a cheap product.

Customer and User Feedback

Most affiliate reseller sites are peppered with comments from “real users” who claim they used the service to find an old friend or a long-lost love. Although we didn’t attempt to verify these claims, we generally disregard their validity due to many complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau and on the consumer “rip-off” websites that allow people to post complaints about fraudulent products.

Disclaimer does not own, sell, distribute, or support Net Detective, Net Detective Plus, Web Detective, eDetective, Urgent Detective, or other such programs.  The information on this page is provided solely for information purposes. makes no claims about the product information’s validity, functionality, or user reviews.  Any questions or complaints about the product, its use, billing, or technical issues should be directed to the distributor.

Please feel free to share your feedback on the usefulness of the Net Detective and/or the Net Detective Plus programs. Visit our contact information page for our email address.

If you have any questions about Net Detective Software, please comment below.

Related: Mobile Phone Spy Software

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


  1. i had net detective as well lifetime membership..worked great at first ..havent used it for a long time and went to use it ..message said my email not associated with the account went to the site and it wanted me sign up for a 27 dollar a month account..No Way !!!!

  2. The same happened to me I paid for a lifetime membership and they locked me out with an explanation or reimbursement.I by no means would recommend this company to anyone.

  3. I paid for a lifetime membership with unlimited background checks. At first it seemed to be good. It was right on myself, girlfriend, and some family members. About 2 years later I couldn’t log in anymore. Found out it was no longer doing lifetime memberships and they cancelled everyone’s memberships with no reimbursement. I would not give this rip off dishonest company any of your money.


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