Technology to Replace Those Old Phone Directories in Your Home

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For years, a thick yellow book was a mainstay of American kitchens. Sometimes it sat proudly on the countertops, sometimes it lay wrinkled on the floor, and often it could be found lying beneath a pile of newspapers or yesterday’s dirty dishes. Simply put, it was always there – and for a good reason: the yellow pages directory gave us the phone numbers of people and businesses in our area. We could look up people by name and businesses by industry. In only a few minutes we could get any number that we sought. In the pre-internet era, this made the directory a highly valuable tool.

There’s a good chance that you still have a yellow pages lying somewhere around your house, maybe even in your kitchen. But times have changed, and home technology – namely, the internet – gives you access to multiple sites that act just like a directory but don’t require you to flip through all those pages.

Some people, however, choose to stick to the traditional directory, largely because they don’t know what websites to use. With so many options out there it can certainly be an overwhelming process. Here, then, are four of the largest and most popular such sites, listed with their major pros and cons:


Pros: Anywho is updated more often than most competitors out there, making it a highly reliable directory. It also offers reverse phone lookups and mapping capabilities

Cons: While the site is great for basic information, it directs you to a third-party site if you seek more detailed information.


Pros: Switchboard has a great business directory; it allows you to search based on industry, distance, and location. The site also provides automobile searches, a feature not offered by its competitors.

Cons: Its personal searches, including its access to public records, are sometimes not as focused and helpful as desired.


Pros: This site allows you to search for email addresses and provides a basic and easy interface.

Cons: It treats people searches just like any other Yahoo! search, which means that your results are surrounded by relevant websites and ads.


Pros: The most comprehensive and extensive in its results, 411 immediately provides employment and spouse information when available. It also offers a reverse address finder as well as the reverse phone lookup feature.

Cons: Sponsored advertisers are often innocuously passed off as legitimate internal links, which can cause some frustration.

These are the main pros and cons of the most popular directory assistance websites. Hopefully, this will help you begin figuring out which site you ultimately prefer, thus allowing you to forgo digging around the kitchen for that outdated directory.


Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

Meet Vishal Gaikar, the tech wizard hailing from Pune, India, who's on a mission to decode the digital universe one blog post at a time. When he's not tinkering with gadgets or diving deep into the digital realm, you can find him concocting the perfect cup of chai or plotting his next adventure. Follow his tech escapades on Twitter and buckle up for a wild ride through the world of innovation and geekery!

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