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Searchbug Tech FAQ: How Our Reachable Phone Number Service Works

Recently, a Searchbug customer had a question about how we checked whether phone numbers were active or inactive.

The customer had processed a large quantity of phone numbers, many of which were shown as active.

Our customer then provided our active/inactive number testing system with two phone numbers. He had already called both numbers to ensure they were inactive.

One phone number gave an invalid number recording. The other number answered with a “call rejected” notice.

Naturally, our customer was concerned about the efficacy of our active/inactive number testing system. So they asked about how our Reachable Phone Number Service works.

Batch Phone Number Verification

Andre Polakoff, our CTO explains:

How the Searchbug Reachable Phone Number Service Works

The current Reachable Phone Number Service relies on call detail record (CDR) logs from major carriers.

CDR logs are the records produced by telephone carrier telecommunications equipment whenever a phone call is transmitted through the carrier’s hardware. CDR logs include call attributes such as the call duration, source number, destination number, and whether or not the call was completed.

A phone number is considered inactive when a call to that number returns a “not found” response and there were no successful calls made to that number since it was checked.

The number is still considered active if the response is “rejected,” “declined,” “not accepted,” etc. Technical issues or settings to actively block incoming calls likely render these numbers unreachable when they are checked.

A number is also considered inactive if technical issues persist for 60 days. But a number is reported as active if it’s been freshly rejected/blocked.

It’s possible that some inactive numbers are reported as active if:

  • The number became inactive recently (within the last two weeks).
  • The user recently blocked the number or technical issues started.
  • The number is inactive, but it wasn’t dialed in the last 60 days (not in the call detail record logs).

The current method—although not 100% accurate—is very affordable, fast, and can be used on a 24/7 basis.

We used to offer a more reliable active/inactive check. The old method sent queries to carrier billing systems. Many numbers were actually dialed to get the real-time status as an additional confirmation step. It was expensive, slow, and was not available at night hours (we didn’t want to call people late).

We are planning to re-introduce the real-time active phone number check as a premium/advanced version of the Reachable Phone Number batch service.

This way, you and other customers can choose between a fast and affordable scan and a reliable, but more expensive, line status verification.

Check out our Reachable Phone Number Batch Service if you need numbers verified or want to see how it works for yourself.



How Do I Find My Old SearchBug Reports

When you place an order on searchbug.com using a personal, business or verified business account you can retreive old searchbug reports from the same account (for as long as your account remains active and in good standing).

Even if you’re using a prepaid account or hitting one of the many integrated API’s and you need to pull up previously obtained reports you can simply look them up in your account without incurring additional fees. No need to rerun reports you already paid for. This is also handy if for some reason you were not able to see your reports when  they initially completed due to internet errors or a broadband service interruption or even a computer malfunction.  Your reports will always remain in your active account. We reserve the right to purged reports from inactive, suspended and abandon accounts.

SearchBug Login Link

The easiest way to retrieve your previous reports is to first, login to your searchbug account. See login link shown here.

Next, once you have successfully logged in, click on the “My Account” tab found in the right  hand margin of the page.  Once you click the My Account tab you will see an new set of tabs located under the yellow tabs. These are your My Account Functions. Click on the report tab to visit the reporting functions.

How to View Previous SearchBug Reports

Next select the time period you wish to review. If your reports were run in the last 30 days the default date range is pre-selected.  If you need older reports or simply a report from yesterday or today, use the drop down arrow next to the date range to change the date to make finding the information easier.

Once you have selected the appropriate date range, select the usage history to see a list of completed reports in date order.  You can sort by date, search type, or cost.  To view the reports simply click on the link under “Subject / Report”. If the text is not a link, then no report was generated and you were charged accordingly at the No Match, No Hit, or No Info rate.  Some reports such as SSN, IP Address or Email address verifications (some of which are included in certain subscriptions) are not saved and can simply be run again.

Some portions of the images above have been blurred to protect our users and the subject information.  If you need additional help please call our support line during business hours to speak with a customer service specialist.


IP Addresses and Spam

There are over hundreds of thousands, if not more, of IP addresses used all over the world. The addresses are used to accurately identify the name and ownership association of a computer system, and can very often contain multiple IP addresses within one system or sets of systems.

Spam is also another one of those “things” that can be found on computers all over the world, and in large quantities as well. Spam is unwanted mail, and can be aggravating, annoying and to the recipient, a seemingly fruitless effort to fight. Getting rid of spam from computers can be a monumental task within itself, especially without the right tools and resources in place to help fight against it.


Identifying Spammers


IP Addresses and Spam

IP addresses identify a person’s computer system, so therefore users may use an IP address to block unwanted mail. This works very much as in the same manner as blocking unwanted postal mail. A recipient can “block” their mail addresses from receiving unwanted mail from a designated company by requesting that the company places their address on their “Do Not Mail” list. The company is then not allowed to mail or contact the recipient by mail for any reason.

For IP addresses, there is a digital block placed on the computer system that identifies from which IP location the email is originating, and when there is mail launched from that IP address, the software will block it from getting to the recipient’s email inbox. Customers love this method, especially if they are accustomed to getting tons of spam email from different places. Very often, companies or hackers will try to “change” their IP addresses, but since IP addresses can be an accurate identifying mechanism, there is no way to mask what launches from that particular computer. This is helpful for customers or individual email addresses that want to block those IP addresses that come from well-known mail servers who constantly try to attach email addresses.

How Does It Work?

The software that’s written to identify spam mail works pretty simple and straightforward. The software is written to reject any spam mail that originates from mail servers by locating the remote server’s IP address, then using the ip4r format to convert the address to a domain name. Afterwards, there will usually be a name lookup to see if there is a database where the IP address may be listed.

IP addresses that are listed on blacklists don’t immediately suggest that the originating address is a spam sender; however, the blacklisted addresses simply signal the computer to not accept any mail from the originating address.



Your Search History

Clearing your browser history can be one of the simplest ways to keep your search history private.

How To Clear Internet Browser History

Certainly at one time or another, every person has wanted to or needed to clear their Internet browser history. Whether it was simply to speed up the computer’s processor time or to remove the history so that no one would be able to see the sites where the user had been, clearing the history somewhat insures that they can keep their Internet searches anonymous. Or can they?

Your Search History

Internet browsing has become one of the most frequently used applications on the computer. Accessing the World Wide Web is used for personal and business reasons, and there are some individuals and companies who prefer to keep their browsing history private.

Each time a person browses the internet and visits a website, their viewed sites are saved to the computer’s local hard drive. There is nothing that the user has to do or launch in order for this to happen. It’s a default save that’s really designed to help the computer and make the user experience more enjoyable. By saving the internet web browsing history and locations, the frequently visited web pages are able to load and launch significantly faster. This is because the files are accessing the computer’s hard drive instead of the need to download the entire web page or website all over again. A re-launch each time would slow down the computer’s processing time significantly and make site-loads slower, more cumbersome and very annoying.

However, along with the convenience of having the pages and sites load faster, there are also down sides to this great idea. Since those loaded pages can take up a great amount of space on a person’s hard drive, it becomes frequently necessary to delete the computer’s Internet history and activity from time to time.

Unbeknownst to many computer users, the computer’s hard drive stores a great deal of information about the user’s search habits and activities. For instance, you can find out about the person’s shopping activity, banking activity, sites that they’ve visited, images and movies they’ve viewed and even activity they’ve done on social networking sites. The hard disk stores all of this information and takes up valuable disk space. Recouping that disk space can benefit the computer and speed up daily computer tasks as well.

It is quite easy to go into most any computer system setup and delete the history, simply by following a few steps that are for your operating system. It’s a good suggestion to do this as often as possible, or even to set a reminder for you to do this at regular intervals.

What kinds of things can and should you delete from the history?

  • Browser history that shows where you’ve searched.
  • Address bar history that eliminates the web site addresses of places you’ve been.
  • Erase any autocomplete memory (prefilled password addresses).
  • Saved passwords and usernames.
  • Run and search histories.
  • List of recent documents and any links to the works.

There are numerous software applications and services that can assist you in clearing your computer’s history. Sometimes simply hitting clear or delete is not enough to take care of removing files and history, and you may need to go into a more sophisticated browser and history clearing session. This is best determined by making a computer analysis of what already exists on your computer’s hard drive and what needs to be done in order to maximize any available space. Since this is a sensitive area for privacy reasons, it’s best to either do it yourself or enlist the services of a computer professional to ensure that it’s thoroughly and correctly.