Private Investigator Software, Mobile Spy Phone Apps & Search Tools

Private Investigator Software
Learn about the software used by private investigators.

Private Investigator Software, Mobile Spy Phone Software and Online Database Search Tools

Technology plays a key role in a private investigator’s business and in the process of investigation. Private investigators use a combination of online search tools, computer software and mobile apps to support many aspects of investigations. P.I.’s use private investigator software to search for records such as criminal histories, divorce records, address histories, driving records, financial records, and more.

Private detectives also use various programs and applications (also known as apps) to communicate with with each other, their clients, witnesses, business partners and vendors. Private detectives should do their best to keep up with the latest trends in technology and learn to integrate technology into their operations wherever possible. View a list of all of the posts in this category.

Online Background Checks and Public Records Search

There are a number of reputable companies the ability to run background checks online. These online services aggregate billions of public records from a variety of disparate sources. Then, they offer easy online access to allow people to conduct background checks, verify facts and employment history and even find missing people. And, best of all, they are surprisingly affordable.

For example, BeenVerified offers plans that start at just $10 per month. BeenVerfied offers search capabilities for criminal records, arrest records, people searches, address lookup, email lookups and much more. In addition, they provide mobile access for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. In addition, check out Intelius and Spokeo People Search for more general options on conducting background checks, searching public records and finding missing persons.

If you’d like to learn about other service providers, Read our full list of online background check services.

Mobile Phone Spy Software

Mobile Phone Spy Software is a special type of specialized monitoring software that is used to remotely monitor cell phone use. It allows someone to monitor a user’s behavior on a mobile phone, table or computer. It captures, incoming and outgoing calls, text message, GPS location and tracking, social media use, pictures and videos, and much more. In this section, we review four of the best Mobile Phone Spy Software tools:

mSpy FlexiSpy Mobile Spy Highster Mobile
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Web-Based / Online Service Providers

The most powerful databases are offered by companies like LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters, Data-Trac, and IRB Search. These companies provide access to billions of public records and agency databases that allow law enforcement and investigators to find missing people, run background checks, solve cases and prevent crimes. These solutions are typically offered in a SAAS model (Software-as-a-Service), which is a software licensing and delivery model that is offered on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. Users access the service via a web browser on a PC, table or mobile device.

Read our review of LexisNexis Solutions for Law Enforcement and Investigations.

Mobile App Reviews

Most of the detective applications available today are designed to run on personal computers, tablets and mobile devices. To support private investigator’s need for information on the go, software technology companies are building programs that run on smart phones and tablets via small apps. Systems designed for tablets and cell phones help private investigators run the software programs they need while out of the office on surveillance missions or traveling around the globe. Following are reviews of various mobile apps that are useful for detectives:

Case Management Software and Online Services

  • Case Management Software – Case Management Software helps P.I.’s manage information related to investigation cases such as storing clients records, managing billing information, employee and payroll records, and more. The latest versions come in the form of cloud-based services, allowing access via computer, tablet and mobile devices from anywhere in the world. This is particularly useful for larger private investigation agencies and law offices. Check out our review of two high-quality systems: Virtual Case Management (VCM) and Encase Forensic.

Other Private Investigator Software

Private investigators use other type of specialized private investigator software such as:

  • Face Reading – A cool program that allows you to profile a person, business associate, or prospective employee with Face Reading technology.
  • Genealogy Search – Detectives use genealogy software to research family histories and build family trees.
  • Legal and Law – Legal documents, legal forms, etc.
  • Sex Offender Search – Search for sexual predators and criminals in your area.

Computer Monitoring and Keylogger Tools

A variety of computer monitoring software programs are available to assist in conducting computer security investigations, computer forensics and to conduct online surveillance.

Investigators who conduct computer crime investigations or computer security investigations should be familiar with general computer programs for task such as business communications, customer relationship management (CRM), accounting, data recovery, and security.

Following are private investigator software programs used to monitor PC activity,monitor network activity, and more. Please not that most of the solutions in the articles below aren’t as powerful as the latest Mobile Phone Spy Software:

  • Email Monitoring Software – Monitor locally, and in some cases remotely, the activity of computers. Also discusses Email Spying and other forensic tools
  • Keylogger Software – Keylogger software tools are programs that log computer keystrokes and record user activity on a computer. For example, parents can use it to keep track of incoming and outgoing messages.
  • Network File Monitoring Software – Overview of software designed to monitor and track user activity on a computer network.
  • Privacy Agent and Pop-Up Blocker Tools – Accessories for completely cleaning a computers history and deleting files, and to protect your identify while surfing the web.
  • Real Time Spy – RealTime Spy is a computer monitoring program that allows you to monitor the activity on a personal computer.
  • Spy Anywhere System – Another computer monitoring tool.

General Computing

Private investigators deal with the same challenges as any business owner. Therefore, they need to have a strong working knowledge of typical business software. Examples include various Operating System’s, such as Windows, Linux, Mac, etc. In addition, detectives need to know about productivity software such as Microsoft Office, Google Docs, etc. Other business software includes:

  • Anti-Spam Tools & Resources – Learn how to use spam protection tools to filter your unwanted email and protect your identity.
  • Anti-Virus Protection – In today’s age of hacking an scam, it is critical that you protect your computers from viruses, malware, and keylogging software used by hackers.
  • Skype Video Chat – Use Skype Video to video chat with other P.I.’s, your clients and even interview witnesses.
  • Tax Preparation – File your personal taxes and business taxes for your agency.
  • Voice Recognition – Voice recognition to help you translate verbal notes into text while you’re on a surveillance mission.
  • Web Browsers – A list of the most popular web browsers. We recommend using Google Chrome.
  • Web Design Packages – This article provides advice for establishing an online presence for your business. You’ll find helpful tips on web design software. In addition, we offer suggestions for content management tools. And finally, we suggest some web hosting options.

Online Search Tools We Don’t Recommend

A variety of online search programs are available to help with looking up information online. The most common private investigator systems search for people, look up addresses and phone numbers, and conduct background investigations. Beware of such programs as Net Detective and Urgent Detective that claim to offer free background check capabilities. They are of little value to the serious professional.

  • Net Detective Online – This online detective program claims to help you find everything from criminal records, divorce records, and driving records. However, it is little more than an outdated address search or white pages search tool
  • eDetective – Yet, another online search tool that claims to provide free background check capabilities. However, it is simply a scam. We do not recommend its use.
  • Urgent Detective – Another online search tool that claims to provide free background check capabilities.

We tested each of these services and do not feel they live up to the claim of offering free background check capabilities. You are unlikely to find a legitimate service that provides a truly free background check. Most of these are simply free (and weak) public records searches.


You don’t necessarily need a to be a private eye to use many of these programs and apps. Nor, do you need to be licensed. However, some companies may require certain types of various certifications to confirm that you are operating a valid business and have a need to access information for legitimate business reasons.

If you have any questions about private investigator software, please leave a comment in the pages’s comment section.


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