Research Clinic. Online investigation links and training from Paul Myers
 Research and investigation links
 
Searching for information
 
  Social media research
Finding people
 
  Archives - search the past
Images, audio and video
 
  Business research
Domain lookup & tech tools
 
  Government, charities & NGO's
Specialist tools
 
  Telecoms research
Maps, Geo and satellites
 
  News
Security
 
  Verification
Transport
 
  AML and KYC

Links are provided for information purposes only. The inclusion of a link in this directory is not an endorsement. Other products are available.

Searching for Information

Search engines

Wolfram Alpha a "computational knowledge engine"

Yippy groups search results into subject clusters

Make your own search engine Google allows you to define your own custom search

Search Engine Colossus lists search engines by subject and country

Swisscows secure search with a nice music search option

Exploit-db.com Interesting "Google Dork" searches for hidden information

 

Secure searching

Duckduckgo searches the net but avoids search terms being revealed, user profiling, skewed personalised results

Start Page claims to be the world's most privacy-conscious search engine

 

Website directories

Best of the web finds sites by subject

Open Directory Project

Historical sites can be looked at via the Wayback Machine - try Vlib and DMOZ

 

Statistics

UK National Statistics see also, the Office of National Statistics and international Statistics Societies

 

International search tools

Search Engine Colossus lists search engines by country

Yandex is a Russian language-oriented search.

Baidu focuses on searching Chinese language sites

 

Academic search tools

Google Scholar

 

Data research

Datasetsearch from Google - searches datasets

 

Social media tools

General

Go Find Who  brilliant resources or searching social networks

Hashtagify.me helps you find related hashtags

Smat-app a great tool that finds hashtags and charts keyword useage

Tagdef find out what a hashtag means

Snapdex.com find users on Snapchat

Redditsearch search Reddit

4chansearch searches 4Chan, if you really need to search 4chan

Commentpicker nice social media tech tools - great for finding ID's

Exportcomments exports social media comments and contacts to XLS spreadsheets

Fakena make a fake online ID for yourself

Osintcombine Search TikTok

Social Searcher searches the main social networks for content. 

Archive.is saves Tweets etc. to future proof them

Social Mention for searching social networks and other online community sites

Mail.ru's social media search

Epieos checks if an email address is linked to a social media site
 

Facebook

Facebook's membership directory

LookupID finds a person or page's Facebook ID number. Alternatively search the html code for USERID

Fb-search a nice Facebook ID finder and searcher

Graph Tips and S0wdust offer search options that go beyond normal Facebook search

Whopostedwhat.com advanced search tool that goes further than Facebook's search

Commentpicker nice social media tech tools - great for finding ID's

Facebook Live Videos


Twitter

Searching

Twitter's advanced search has some unique functionality

Twxplorer is a really cool search tool for current tweets and hashtags

 

Trends

Trendsmap lets you zoom into a map and see current popular "trending" hashtags and keywords

 

Monitoring

Tweetdeck Twitter's amazing monitoring tool. See also Twifferfall

Onemilliontweetmap shows a global heat map for hashtags and keywords

 

Analytics and follower analysis

Socialbearing analyses keywords and hashtags

Foller.me is a tool that analyses Twitter accounts

Tweepsect lists and sorts a Twitter user's follows, followers and mutual followings

Followerwonk compares the followings of Twitter users, analyzes a Twitter account by its followings and searches Twitter biogs

Fake follower test

Tweetbeaver - an amazing selecton of tools for finding and exporting data

Mutual follows via Tweetbeaver

 

Other

Allmytweets lists all of a Twitter user's Tweets, Likes, followers etc. on one page (which can then be easily word searched with control +F)

Twitter's user directory

Tweeterid finds a Twitter user's ID. Names change, ID's stay the same!

 

Instagram

Picuki - a simple, functional way to search Instagram - see also searchusers

Picodash - finds and exports lots of info about users

Commentpicker nice social media tech tools - great for finding ID's
 

 

Youtube

YouTube Convert allows you to grab and save videos from YouTube

Youtube data viewer - a verification tool from Amnesty International

Watchframebyframe watch youtube and vimeo videos frame by frame

Youtube-geofind searches Youtube by location

Youtube-metadata finds youtube metadata including location

 

Telegram channels

Intelligence X: TG

search.buzz.im

Telegago

TelegramDB

TGstat

tlgrm.eu/channels

 

Mapping social media posts

Echosec plots users' various social network posts onto a map and explores locations for content.

Samdesk plots posts onto a map

Arcgis - a free alternative

 

Gaming community

 

 

People finders

Pipl searches social media by username, email address. See also TLO

Spokeo - US people research tool. Also international social media searches by email

FamilySearch - free genealogy site courtesy of the Mormons

Tracesmart is the people and business investigation tool provided by NexisLexis

192  UK people research tool. phone book and electoral roll, going back to 2001

Phonebooks Infobel brings you a database of online telephone directories

TELDIR  Infobel finds telephone directories around the world

Whitepages is a great resource for searching and reverse searching US numbers

Radaris is a US people deep search tool - see also zaba search & Xlek & Clustrmaps

That's them free US people finder

Pimeyes is a brilliant Biometric facial pattern search

Burke's Peerage UK search for titled ladies and gentlemen

Publicrecords.directory free US people finder

 

User name search

Knowem & Namechk & Instantusername search for used usernames

Snapdex find users on Snapchat

Namecheck.bloggingehow searches some interesting sources for user names

 

Find company email addresses

Phonebook.cz  find email addresses related to a domain. Handy for tracing employees.

Email-Format find corporate email address formats allowing you to guess an email address. See also hunter.io and Skymem

 

Professional Databases exist for most fields, for example

UK Doctors

UK Clerics

FAA Pilots

 


 

Archives - search the past

The Wayback Machine find sites, software, documents, audio & video from the past

Open Wayback is an alternative to the Wayback Machine

Swap webpage archive search from Stanford University

Oldweb.today uses web archives to visualise the web in old browsers.

Archive.is archives webpages, tweets etc.

Memento is an archive metasearch

Cached Pages finds Google's saved copies of pages. See also Yahoo, Bing & Gigablast

UK National Archives search the UK govt archive of web pages and search documents

Archivesportaleurope search Europe's national government and municipal archives

Library of Congress archive of websites, documents and media

Directory of European archive sites

Cachedview searches Google cache and archive sites for saved copies of a webpage

Megalodon Japanese language archive meta search

Perma.cc creates a permanent record of a webpage - see also webrecorder

Oldversion download old versions of popular software

Pixlr free online image editor

 

Image, Audio & Video related

 

Imgops - various brilliant image research resources

Jeffrey's EXIF displays an image's metadata and location. See also exifinfo & pic2map

Fotoforensics handy for verification, this site takes a forensic look at an image's pixels and exif metadata. See also 29a.ch

Midomi identifies music but you need to be able to sing into your computer's mic!

Tubeoffline allows you to download videos from many popular social media sites

YouTube Convert allows you to grab and save videos from YouTube

Youtube data viewer - a verification tool from Amnesty International

Swisscows secure search with a nice music search option

Watchframebyframe watch youtube and vimeo videos frame by frame

Youtube-geofind searches Youtube by location

Youtube-metadata finds youtube metadata including location

 

Photo / Face / Reverse image searches

TinEye - see also Google Images, IQDB, bing, yandexbaidu, 360 and sogou

Pimeyes - a fantastic biometric facial pattern image search.

Search4faces - a biometric facial search of VK and TikTok profile pics

 

 

 

 

Business research

United Kingdom

Companies House provides free UK company and director info. Google search of Companies House and its old site for more flexibility.

Due Dilligence / KYC see Duedil (UK), Bizdb (UK) and Company Check

UK Intellectual property office

Tracesmart is the people and business investigation tool provided by NexisLexis

VAT search - good for businesses that might be on normal registers

Worldwide

Open Corporates The indispensible company search. Records of over 125 million companies worldwide

OCCRP International Research Databases (formerly Investigative Dashboard)provides links to international official registers that help you investigate companies.

Intl Business Registers provides links to company registries in different countries

Dun and Bradstreet (paid) provide excellent international company information. So do specialist services like Edgar Online & TLO

Arachnys paid site that searches a huge array of sources in difficult to research countries.

Patents find trade mark and inventors details.

OCCRP - investigating procurement, corruption etc.

VAT search - good for businesses that might be on normal registers

Biznar a business-related deepweb database search

 

 

Domain name, IP research and Analytics codes

Check domain name registration

Domaintools highly recommended paid site performs advanced Whois searches. Has possibly the best historical records. Searches by IP. The Iris services visualises links between domains.

Domainbigdata - highly recommended - free lookup service. Searches by domain, email, name & IP, historical data available when current info is redacted

Whoisology (paid site) allows you to search for domains by address, name, phone number etc. Historical records.

Website Informer - allows various fields and keywords to be searched

IP-adress investigates a server connected to a domain. It might do this from a US perspective. Different countries may connect to different servers

Analyzeid finds domains owned by the same person

Whoxy great tools including historical whois

 

Reverse IP - see what else is on a server!

Domainbigdata (recommended) spyse and spyonweb and webhosting

Robtex - really useful tool for investigating a domain. Finds its subdomains etc. 

Urlscan.io - recommended, lots of detail

Netcraft report - looks at IP blocks. Search for a domain, find it, click on "netblock"

Hurricane Electric - investigate a domain name and its IP address block

 

Historical Domain Records - establish previous ownership & pre-GDPR

Domaineye.com

Domainbigdata

Whoxy

Domaintools

Whoisology

 

 

Find subdomains

Pentest Tools many tools, including finding hidden subdomains - see also Netcraft

Archive.is  lists subdomains with screenshots and history

Nmmapper finds loads of subdomains

 

Advanced IP tools

DNSLytics - recommended. A great all-round IP tool with a handy Chrome extension

Pentest Tools finds hidden subdomains. See also Archive.is and Robtex

Pentest Google Hacking - search for website vulnerabilities via Google

Visual Trace Route - locate a website's server

ViewDNS.info - dozens of useful lookups all on one page

Centralops useful tools and it translates IPv6 into normal IPv5 addresses

ip-address - paste email headers to investigate mail servers. See also mxtoolbox, reversemx & network-tools

Gaijin.at - various IP location & whois tools. Sometimes finds details others miss

IP-tracker Another useful IP looker upper - see also IP-Address.net

IPAddress.com traces an IP to the user's home town! See also Whatismyipaddress

IPlocation geolocates an IP address

 

Regional IP address / domain name authorities

International IPs Find which regional authority handles IP address allocation for a country.

National Authorities International bodies that issue country code domains. If WHOIS fails, go to the source!  See also IANA

Generic Domains authorities for domains that don't have a country code or standard top level domain.

Nominet British domain authority who oversee the .uk domain names

The TV Corp. WHOIS for the .tv domain. See also DotFM WHOIS for the .fm domain

APNIC IP authority for the Asia Pacific region.

RIPE The IP issuing authority for Europe, have the best WHOIS lookup for European IP addresses.

ARIN  IP authority for for North America 

LACNIC for Latin America & the Caribbean and

AFRINIC for Africa

 

Government / Municipal / Charities NGO's etc.

UK Government

Gov.uk The British government website directory. They have a HUGE list of sites.

FOIA Requests  See who is requesting what under the Freedom of Information Act.

They Work For You Political research. Investigate your MP!

Land registry Search property and ownership details in the UK

Intellectual property office Search registered designs. See also, UK trademarks.

Planning permission decisions Search by local authority

Search local archives Find local historical information

Find a local MP Search by post code. See also "write to them"

UK National Archives British government documents and webpages

British & Irish Legal Search Search UK/Irish cases and laws. See Trustonline for CCJ's

UK National Statistics See also, the Office of National Statistics

 

US Government

Search Systems Free directory of open source databases in the US. 

US.gov The US government web portal

The US Census Bureau - loads of quick stats on different states

 

International Government Information

CIA World Factbook Quick facts and profiles of countries around the world. See also, Nationsonline

OCCRP International Research Databases (formerly Investigative Dashboard) provides links to international government databases

International Statistics Societies

The United Nations see also, this handy directory of UN organisation sites

Europa.eu the official website of the European Union

The World Bank data by country
 

Charities & NGO's

Charity Navigator

British charities  Search the UK Charity Commissioner's register

US gov charity resource

 

 

Specialist investigative / OSINT tools

OSINT Framework A wonderful, graphical interactive checklist of all information gathering sites and tools. See also Bellingcat's collection and Boolean Strings

OSINT Curious produces online research blogs and OSINT training videos

Analyse email headers see also whatismyip ip-address, reversemx & network-tools

Ueuo gives you free webspace. Useful for undercover work and tracking. Get IP tracking code from statcounter

Duckduckgo doesn't track your usage. Neither does startpage. See also Privacytools

Search the Dark Web via Google

Intellitamper scans a site for linked hidden folders and files. See also Black Widow

SEO Crawler explores a website looking for pages

Wireshark Reveals the data flying around the network you are connected up to

Buckets.grayhatwarfare  - finds files in open folders

Technisette.com resources and training

Hunch.ly saves a court-friendly audit trail of your research

Intelx.io extracts metadata from files (eg. pdf,Word, jpg) see also Jeffrey's

Exploit-db.com Interesting "Google Dork" searches for hidden information
 

Analytics codes (e.g. Google ad-words)

Spyonweb provides links between sites with embedded codes, so does Analyzeid

 

Text bins

Controlc.

Pastefs

 

Dark Web

Tor Project Anonymizing software that also provides a way onto the Dark Web

TheHiddenWiki.org directory of Dark Web sites

Darksearch.io searches the dark web - see also Ahmia

Onionsearchengine.com another interesting Dark Web search

 

Tracing people via IP address

Readnotify displays the IP address of an email recipient. See also Didtheyreadit, IPLogger, Whatistheirip & myiptest

Canarytokens - generate IP tracking codes

Sitemeter lets you build a tracker into a website

 
News

Thepaperboy finds newspapers across the world

Tunein  link directly to online streaming radio broadcasts. See also vTuner

News Now plugs you directly into the latest breaking news. Good UK representation.

Google Trends see how keywords are trending on Google

 

Maps, Geo and satellite

Google Maps maps, satellite images & street views See also Bing for birds eye shots

Instant street view an alternative way of using Street View. See also Showmystreet

Freemaptools Various tools for working with online maps, eg. measuring distances

Geohack sources Nice list of satellite & map sources around the world

Track Shipping MarineTraffic shows the progress & routes of ships, plotted onto maps

Track Aircraft FlightAware shows the progress & routes of aircraft, plotted onto maps

Peakfinder.org and peakvisor.com identify hills, skylines and mountain ranges

Zoom gives historical satellite. See also The Living Atlas, Sentinel & Google Earth Pro

Historical UK Aerial Photos  see also Britain from above and Getmapping

Youtube-geofind searches Youtube by location

 

Mapping social media posts

Echosec plots users' various social network posts onto a map and explores locations for content.

Samdesk plots posts onto a map

Arcgis - a free alternative

 

 

 

Telecoms

Truecaller  - mobile phone number looker-upper (non-EU) see also Sync.me

TelDir  finds Phone directories around the world. See also numberway

Whitepages is a great resource for searching and reverse searching US numbers

Hlr-lookups and Phone Validator (U.S.) find details about a mobile phone connection. This tool which dials a US cell number anonymously and records the response!

Skypli find people on Skype with this useful directory

Freecarrierlookup Checks if a caller is using VOIP

Zlookup reverse search US numbers

Macvendorlookup  traces a Mac address to a vendor. See also techzoom.net

Epeios checks if a mobile number is linked to a Skype, Signal or Telegram account

 

Digital Security

Pentest Google Hacking - search for website vulnerabilities via Google

Test your proxy See if it leaks your real IP address. This can happen when you visit a site with Flash & Java applets.

Housecall online Virus Scan Free online check for the latest viruses see also virustotal

Amiunique checks if browser's footprint. See also coveryourtracks & browserleaks

Whatismybrowser check how much info your browser is betraying. See also Doileak

Dnsleaktest does your VPN reveal your real IP? See also Ipleak

CCleaner Professional securely erases data from storage devices. See also bleachbit

Veracrypt creates a secure encrypted virtual disc drive out of a file on your computer

Exifcleaner cleans meta data from your photos. See also Verexif
 

Breached Data checkers - see if your personal details and passwords have been compromised

Secure email & messaging

WhatsApp the messaging app has a web version, as does Telegram and Signal

Xabber Another Web-based version of a messaging app. This built on XMPP

Wire is a secure collaboration platform

 

Safe searching

Duckduckgo searches the net but avoids search terms being revealed, user profiling, skewed personalised results

Start Page claims to be the world's most privacy-conscious search engine

 
Verification

Hoaxy charts the spread of Tweets and spots bots

Botometer checks a Twitter account, it's followers and friends to see if they are bots

Reveal checks images for inconsistencies that occur when a photo has been aletered

Google factcheck

Snopes checks dubious stories and identifies fake news

Youtube data viewer - a Youtube verification tool from Amnesty International

Invid online video clip search and verification

Sun direction calculator assess the date & location through shadows. See also suncalc

Peakfinder and Peakvisor identify hills, skylines and mountain ranges

 

Trace cars, boats and planes

Cars

Licence Plate Mania

Platesmania

Autogespot

Findbyplate US license plate lookup

Google Images finds licence plate details in photos. So does Facebook

 

Shipping

Global Integrated Shipping Information System

Shipinfo finds owners

Global Fishing Watch

MarineTraffic

ShipSpotting

The Shipping Database

VesselFinder

FleetMon

Asia Pacific Port State Control Database

 

Planes

What's in the air?

FlightAware

OpenSky Explorer

Flightradar24

ADS-B Exchange

AirNav RadarBox

PlaneFinder

Aviation Safety air crash database and news

Airfleets search registration details

Live ATC listen to ATC feeds

FAA Pilot & Aircraft details

Anti Money Laundering, Know Your Business/Customer and Due Diligence

PEP (politically exposed people) search from the U.S. treasury

PWC's guide to AML, KYB, KYC and PEP - useful links & information

Sanctions explorer free see also Namescan's free sanctions lists search

Duedil UK due diligence - see also Bizdb and Company Check

US SEC search  see also company search via EDGAR

OCCRP - investigating procurement, corruption etc.

UK Law Pages search UK court cases

 

 

 


(c) Paul Myers 2021. The views expressed on this site are the author's own. The inclusion of links does not represent an endorsement.
This website and its author take no responsibility for any use or misuse of the sites listed.