What is the best free web telephone directory?
April 27, 2006 11:19 AM   Subscribe

What is the best free search on the web for looking up telephone numbers?

Our nonprofit often has to attempt to find telephone numbers for our members. We currently do a lot of this research using Superpages.com, but the results are not the best and I have to cope with lots of flashing ads, not all of which I can block with Firefox/Mozilla.

Do you know of a better tool for this? It needs to be:
a) free
b) web based
c) offer "reverse lookup" (key in address & get phone #)
d) accurate, reasonably up-to-date, and not sleazy
posted by anastasia to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
um, Google? Put in the name and zipcode. ta-da!
posted by timnyc at 11:28 AM on April 27, 2006

In Canada, it's canada411.com
posted by jon_kill at 11:28 AM on April 27, 2006

um, Google? Put in the name and zipcode. ta-da!

Doesn't work. I just compared Google vs. Superpages on 10 records. Superpages gave me results on 6 of 10. Google gave me results on 2 of 10.
posted by anastasiav at 11:30 AM on April 27, 2006

In Canada, it's canada411.com

Sorry, I should have been more specific. USA only. Actually, the bulk (95% +) of our members are in the state of Maine.
posted by anastasiav at 11:30 AM on April 27, 2006

Wow, I just noticed that for some reason I was somehow logged on under my old, original I-forgot-I-had-it account rather than my current one when I posted this question. Oops.
posted by anastasiav at 11:31 AM on April 27, 2006

Infospace is pretty good.
posted by reformedjerk at 11:38 AM on April 27, 2006

Try WhitePages.com (here's their reverse phone # lookup)

Also AnyWho.com (from AT&T; reverse lookup)

And Switchboard.com

Can't say for certain which is the "best" right now, but you may have to use some combination of sites to get all the numbers you can.
posted by arco at 11:47 AM on April 27, 2006

I am a big fan of The Ultimates which is a metasearch portal for many directories and offers reverse lookup.
posted by bradlands at 11:50 AM on April 27, 2006

I've heard lots of good things about 1-800-Free411. They have a websearch too.
posted by ND¢ at 12:02 PM on April 27, 2006

I second Whitepages, though mostly because I haven't used any of the other searches people are mentioning. Regardless, I have good luck with Whitepages.
posted by bibbit at 12:34 PM on April 27, 2006

http://www.zabasearch.com, the free search engine of choice for stalkers everywhere.
posted by de void at 12:58 PM on April 27, 2006

I'll second The Ultimate White Pages. Everything you need.
posted by bondcliff at 2:08 PM on April 27, 2006

The White Pages/Yellow Pages search widgets built into Mac OS X Tiger use daplus, which I've found is pretty good. I usually use that.
posted by emelenjr at 3:24 PM on April 27, 2006

Zaba seemed like it stopped giving out phone numbers/addresses as easily a year or so back. Is this just me, or am I missing the magic "clidk here to get free info" button?

Is it a derail if it's related?
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 9:22 PM on April 27, 2006

Perhaps a bit of a dead thread, but I have to strongly second Google. I also had to look up tons of phone numbers for members of the organisation I work for and by typing in whatever information I had on them (address, post code/zip code, company they work for, town name; basically judicious combinations of bits and pieces I had on each of them) I had about a 98% success rate. You'd be amazed how many people have their home addresses and phone numbers listed in outdated PDFs that you can access cached by Google.
posted by mosessis at 4:47 AM on April 28, 2006

RikiTikiTavi - my phone number is still showing up, but it doesn't show it for every record. For example: Michael R Bloomberg, NY
posted by exhilaration at 12:37 PM on April 28, 2006

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