Learn how to use Private Investigator Software, Apps, and Online Services
Technology plays a key role in any investigation business. Detectives use a combination of private investigator software such as online search tools, OSINT resources, computer software, and mobile apps to support many aspects of investigations.
Private investigator software is a general term that encompasses programs and applications installed on a computer or web server and online, web-based solutions known as SAAS (Software as a Service). SAAS 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, tablet, or mobile device. Also, it includes apps installed on tablets and mobile devices.
Private investigator software can be used to:
- Manage business operations such as accounting, billing, invoicing, and customer contact management
- Manage cases, including assignments, case documents, photos, contacts, interview notes, expenses, and more.
- Search for public and non-public records such as criminal histories, divorce records, address histories, driving records, financial records, and more.
- Conduct online research and due diligence, download documents, compile dossiers and prepare reports for court cases
- Coordinate communications with clients, vendors, witnesses, business partners, and other investigators. This includes communication via phone, text, video messaging, walkie-talkie, chat, and more.
Following is an overview of the various types of software used by private investigators. We tried to list only the best in each category. If you’re looking for general software, check out the list of best-selling software on Amazon. Please leave a comment if you have suggestions.
Case Management Software and Online Services
Case Management Software programs help PIs manage information related to investigating cases. For example, to enter and store client records, collect billing information, employee and payroll records, billing, contacts, and more.
The latest case management solutions come in the form of cloud-based services. This allows easy access via computer, tablet, and mobile devices from anywhere in the world. Case management software is particularly useful for larger private investigation agencies and law offices. Below are links to our reviews of several of the best industry-leading systems:
- Encase Forensic Analysis
- PI DirectLink
- Serve Manager
- Virtual Case Management (VCM)
Online Background Checks and Public Records Search Databases
There are several reputable companies with the ability to run background checks online. These online services aggregate billions of public records from various disparate sources. Then, they offer easy online access to allow people to conduct background checks, verify facts and employment history, and find missing people. And, best of all, they are surprisingly affordable.
For example, BeenVerified Background Search offers plans that start at just over $20 per month. They provide search capabilities for public records, address and phone number searches, email searches, and more. In addition, they provide mobile access via iPhones, iPad, and Android devices.
In addition, check out our Review of Intelius and Spokeo People Search for more general options on conducting background checks, searching public records, and finding missing persons.
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.
If you’d like to learn about other service providers, Read our complete list of online background check services. Also, please read our review of LexisNexis Solutions for Investigations.
Mobile Phone Tracking Software
Mobile Phone Spy Software is a particular type of special monitoring app used to remotely monitor cell phone use. It allows someone to monitor a user’s behavior on a mobile phone, tablet, or computer.
It captures incoming and outgoing calls, text messages, GPS location and tracking, social media use, pictures, and videos. In this section, we review the best cell phone tracking apps.
Computer Forensic Tools
View a list of computer forensic tools that can extract data and information from PCs, laptops, and mobile devices.
Mobile Investigation App Reviews
Today’s detective applications are designed to run on personal computers, tablets, and mobile devices. Technology companies are building programs on smartphones and tablets via small apps to support private investigators’ need for information on the go.
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 some of the best mobile apps that are useful for detectives:
- Using Google Maps to Prepare for Surveillance – This article explains how to use both the web-based and mobile versions of Google Maps to research your next surveillance mission. Also, learn how to Use Zillow for Surveillance Research.
- How to Use Google Translate – You never know when your case will lead you to an international destination where you don’t speak the language. Learn how to use Google Translate to help communicate in other languages.
- How to Use the Google Voice App – The Google Voice app allows you to conduct searches and lookups using only your voice. This can be a helpful tool when you’re hands are occupied working with other surveillance equipment.
- Learn How to Use Evernote for Recording Case Notes – The Evernote app is a great way to take notes while you’re on the road and have those same notes available on your PC when it comes time to prepare a report.
- SneakyPix for Taking Secret Photos – SneakyPix is an app that will take photos when your phone appears to be off.
- Review of GPS Phone Tracker Pro – The GPS Phone Tracker Pro app allows you to track another person’s whereabouts using their phone.
- Trustify Network – A technology platform that is used for finding and hiring P.I.s.
- CallerSmart – Block unwanted calls and texts
Other Private Investigator Software and Apps
Private investigators use other types of specialized private investigator software, such as:
- AT&T Active Armor – A mobile security app that provides security for your mobile device, personal information, and more.
- Facial Recognition – An overview of companies that provide facial recognition systems that analyze facial features to identify people and traits.
- Genealogy Search – Detectives use genealogy applications to research family histories, track down long-lost relatives, and build a family tree.
- Hunchly – A web capture tool for online investigations.
- Legal and Law – for generating documents, forms, etc.
- Sex Offender Search – Search for predators and criminals in your area.
Computer Monitoring and Keylogger Tools
Various computer monitoring software programs are available to assist in conducting investigations, computer forensics, and online surveillance.
Investigators who conduct computer crime or security investigations should be familiar with general computer programs for business communications, customer relationship management (CRM), accounting, data recovery, and security.
The following are private investigator software programs used to monitor PC activity, monitor network activity, and more. Please, note that most of the solutions in the articles below aren’t as powerful as the latest Mobile Phone Spy Software:
- Email Monitoring – Monitor locally, and in some cases remotely, the activity of computers. It also discusses Email Spying and other forensic tools.
- Keyloggers – Keylogger 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 – Designed to monitor and track user activity on a computer network.
- 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.
Private investigators deal with the same challenges as any business owner. Therefore, they must have a solid working knowledge of typical business operating programs. Examples include various Operating Systems, such as Windows, Linux, Mac, etc.
In addition, detectives need to know about productivity software such as Microsoft Office, Google Docs, etc. Other business solutions include:
- 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 and scams, you must protect your computers from viruses, malware, and keylogging software used by hackers.
- Voice Recognition – Voice recognition helps you translate verbal notes into text while on a surveillance mission.
- Web Browsers – A list of the most popular web browsers. We recommend using Google Chrome.
- How to Setup a Website – This article advises establishing an online presence for your investigative 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 and Software to Avoid
Various online search programs are available to help look 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 these services and did not feel they lived 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 free (and weak) public records searches.
You don’t necessarily need 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.
Questions and Comments
If you have questions about private investigator software, please comment in the page’s comment section. View a list of all of the posts in this category.
Respected Sir, i am Advocate Dr. Saleem, Nilgiris. Currently i am running a private Detective Agency, its registered with OPC of Corporation of Comanies, For my business development I need Private Investigator Software (All Modules). Kindly reply me with your specifications.
My name is Jeffrey Grant and I am interested in purchasing your software for my agency. Thank you
Hi Jeffrey. The articles on this site are simply reviews of various software solutions. eInvestigator does the reviews but does not actually sell the products. Visit the website for the specific product you are interested in and visit their contact page to get their contact information.
My Name is Susie Maldonado and I’m a licensed private investigator in Texas. I’m interested in purchasing your software for our company. Thank you
I’m a private investigator and I will like to no how I can purchase your private investigator software I am living in Trinidad can you send me INFORMATION on my Gmail account merlastewart@gmail com Thanks you
I am a private investigator in Portland, Oregon. I especially appreciated the many resource links in this article. I will make immediate use of the Other Private Investigator Software resources referenced in this article. Thanks!
I am a PI from Alabama State and I have a case that I need to Investigate in Oregon. Like to contact you… like to have a PI from there to conduct a background check. Do you have a web page or email that we can contact each other?
JGA Private Investigation
Alabama State Lic #727
We have one Oregon Agency listed in our directory. Here isa link to their directory listing:
Do you guys provide soft ware for MPI (military police investigator)? We are looking for a soft wear that could help us out. Could you please let me know what you provide and the cost of the software? Thank you.
I need to pull up a fishing license for three individuals in Alaska; however, the Alaska Fish and Game requires a notarized signed letter from each individual I am looking into. This kind of defeats the purpose of looking into these individuals. How do you circumvent this and obtain the licenses without their knowledge?
Sounds like a tough one. Many states allow verification of professional licenses online, but I don’t think fishing licenses are considered professional licenses.
Earlier this year, Alaska enacted legislation that allows fishermen to carry electronic licenses on their smartphone. This is intended to make it easier for law enforcement to verify that they have a valid license.
These are just ideas, but since law enforcement can check, perhaps you might try to contact law enforcement in the appropriate city or town for assistance.
Another option might be: Contact the Alaska Professional Licensing division’s Investigative Unit at email@example.com. They might be able to point you in the right direction.
I need a private investigator to investigate to investigation online for me I have really weird things in my phone and I think it’s my boyfriend I don’t want to believe it could you please call me my name is Rachel Allen my phone number is 573-721-2546 thank you.
Hi. Thanks for posting a comment. eInvestigator.com doesn’t provide investigation services, but you can reach a private investigator in your local area to help. Visit our private investigator directory at https://directory.einvestigator.com and select your state.
Also, review all of the applications installed on your phone. Disable or uninstall any apps that don’t look familiar to you. Be careful not to disable any important apps that are necessary for your phone to run. Once you disable any suspicious apps, see if the weird things continue to happen.