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Free online dating

Top free dating sites OkCupid.com and DateHookup.com don't have broadcast media campaigns like eHarmony.com (Est. $60 per month) , but that hasn't stopped millions from flocking to these sites. They allow users to find matches and communicate with them without making any financial commitment. Finding a serious relationship is definitely more difficult on these free sites since there's no price of admission, but they offer all kinds of community features (forums, blogs, quizzes from users, etc.) that make them fun.

OkCupid.com, founded in 2004 by the creators of SparkNotes.com, allows users to search for matches and also automatically generates matches. (In 2011 it was acquired by ConsumerSearch's parent company, which also owns Match.com and Chemistry.com) PerfectMatch.com offers the same combination for $60 a month. OkCupid.com is also a favorite with users and reviewers who appreciate the many features offered to them at no cost. It is up on technological trends with good social media integration and a free mobile application.

However, there's no chat feature, which is standard on most paying dating sites. Gaining access to many of these features is dependent on uploading a photo of yourself to your profile. Several reviewers point out that the site tends to cater to people with nontraditional worldviews. Both users and reviewers note that scammers and inactive profiles are rampant here.

DateHookup.com, launched in July 2002, boasts that it's "100 percent free dating." It has a simpler interface than its main competitors and has fewer features. Search options include physical features, ethnicity, astrological sign, education, employment status, politics and religion. You can only communicate through email (no instant messaging or chat), save searches and "friend" people.

Marilyn Winfield of RandomerThanAverage.com gives DateHookup.com her highest score of 3 out of 4 stars on her video review. She notes that the word "hookup" in the name implies many nonserious relationships, but people who are serious can be found on this free dating site with some careful weeding. Reviewers would have liked DateHookup.com to require members to specify their level of seriousness, since there's no way to know this unless members choose to reveal it. Like many of the dating sites in this report, DateHookup.com caters to people younger than 30.

Niche dating sites ensure shared values, interests and backgrounds

If you're looking for certain attributes in a potential partner that are deal breakers, consider a niche online dating site that caters to similarly minded people. There are hundreds of such online dating sites based on age, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, hobbies and a host of other criteria; however, we only found a few reviews on niche dating sites. Some of the sites mentioned briefly in reviews include:  Christian Connection (a British site), OurTime.com for seniors, JDate.com for Jewish singles, and SeekingArrangement.com for those looking for a "sugar daddy."

Online Dating Runners Up:

PerfectMatch.com $60 per month

4 picks including: eDate Review, Dating Sites Reviews.com…

Chemistry.com $40 per month

2 picks including: About.com, eDate Review…

DateHookup.com Free

1 pick by top review sites.

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