These days more and more people in the U.S. are running background checks. There are various reasons why you may wish to do this. Landlords may wish to know more about potential tenants, employers about new employees, or you may wish to run a search on a new partner. Whatever your reasons there is a range of information available on the web and elsewhere which is accessible if you require it. Free Background Checks. Many investigation companies offer free background checks and access to criminal records, though to obtain reliable and extensive information it is generally necessary to pay at least a small fee. It stands to reason that a company is unlikely to spend money on advertising a free service unless they intend to charge you at some point in the process. After trying several of these services I have generally found that either there will be a request for payment at some point, or in some cases there is a genuine free service on offer but the process can take 2 or more hours (during which you will need to stay at your desk continually re-submitting information) to complete. While you run through this process the company will continue to tempt you with a paid service which will be completed in seconds! Having said all that it is possible to run a background search for free. However you will have to access several different databases and be prepared to put in some time and effort. There are several articles and blogs available which provide good free advice on this process. Background Check Services: There are a wide variety of background investigation companies offering fast and extensive information on any U.S. resident, often in a matter of seconds and for a fee. These vary in the quality of the service, their user friendliness and their cost. Some will charge a fee for a one-time check where as others will charge an annual fee for unlimited searches. Some other companies will charge a very small fee for a trial of their product for a few days, which will be followed by full payment from a credit card unless the service is cancelled. Some companies offer a fee to search records for one person then offer a full year membership upgrade for a small additional fee. Which of these services you choose depends entirely on what you are looking for. Generally the ones charging per search will provide more extensive information though if you intend to do multiple searches over the course of a year it might be cost-effective to pay an additional annual submission. Depending on what you need the information for, you may decide that a cheaper service offering an annual membership may be all you require. How Much Should You Expect to Pay. This is a tricky question to answer as the cost of running a background investigation can range from zero (if you have the spare time) to as much as $200 or more. A quick look through the internet and you will see that most companies charge around 30 - 40 dollars for a one time search and will usually charge an extra $10 for an annual There are various background check services available online. Background Report 360 provides reliable access to state and national criminal records, personal records, property records and more all within 60 seconds.