Ancestry DNA is the #1 Best Seller in Home Health Tests on Amazon. It is the leading DNA test with over 1 billion family connections and a huge database of over 6 million people’s DNA. You will be able to uncover your ethnic background across 165 regions worldwide. Their report provides significantly deeper, more specific insights than other companies and is very easy to understand. They also allow you to connect with matches through anonymous email and message boards, link your DNA results to your online family tree, and store your results indefinitely. It takes roughly 6-8 weeks for them to deliver your results.
Since members can opt out of sharing their DNA results, it may be harder to find and contact matches. Also, Ancestry DNA doesn’t allow customers to upload raw data from other sites and it requires an ongoing subscription to the site, or else you’ll have very limited access to your match results. Some complain that the services don’t break down ethnicity for East Asia like they do for other regions.
The Bottom Line
Best for cousin matching (currently the company only offers autosomal DNA testing). With more than 20 years of experience, the company guarantees to provide you with accurate results and keep your information safe. Over 1400 positive reviews.
Using the MyHeritage DNA kit, you can get a detailed ethnicity breakdown with the most comprehensive list of ethnicities in the industry: 42 regions. The company has the largest international network of family trees, over 2.6 million people in the DNA database, and 8 billion historical records. Their U.S.-based DNA lab is CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited. All information is secured by multiple layers of encryption and won’t be shared with any third parties. MyHeritage DNA also allows you to upload freely raw data from other sites.
Some complain that the results don’t show Neanderthal traits or haplogroups. Also, there are fewer status updates than other companies and you’ll have to sign up for the paid subscription for more information.
The Bottom Line
Awesome features: various subscription options, useful resources, free mobile app, online genealogical community, &outstanding customer service, are what MyHeritage DNA offers you. This kit is considered one of the least expensive on the market, so its perfect for someone on a budget who is still looking for a quality test!
23andMe covers 31 populations worldwide and has 2 million registered users in their database. Apart from offering one of the most reliable ancestry DNA tests, it is also the only company to provide health results in your final report, indicating numerous health risks and genetic traits. The complete test holds more than 74 different reports and will be sent to you after 6 – 8 weeks. Other pros: No additional lab fee required; Free postage; and Chromosome browser included for comparing results.
In compares to other companies, 23andMe has quite limited genealogical community and low ability to contact matches. The company also doesn’t allow customers to upload of raw data from other sites.
The Bottom Line
23andMe is a new company, so it’s unavoidable that there are many things to do to complete their product. However, the company is constantly evolving, so hope that it will soon be the best choice when it comes to both genetic health screening and genealogy purposes. Currently, they have over 600 positive reviews.
FamilyTreeDNA offers all 3 types of the DNA tests individually. They have strong genealogical community and targeted DNA projects. It’s easier to connect with matches since FamilyTreeDNA allows you to email others with matching profiles. You can also upload your raw data into their system as well. Other pros: Chromosome browser included for comparing results; Free return shipping for your results; and Stores results for a minimum of 25 years
Since FamilyTreeDNA is not as popular to the mass market, they have a smaller database of people than sites like Ancestry. The company also doesn’t offer health-related testing.
The Bottom Line
If you are testing more than just ethnicity, which means serious genealogy that requires YDNA and mtDNA tests, go with FamilyTreeDNA. FYI: FamilyTreeDNA is the testing partner for National Geographic Genographic Project.
DNA Testing Kits: What Are They & How to Choose the Best Ones?
DNA testing now can be done easily in the comfort of your own home at an affordable cost. The only problem left is with numerous companies entering the market every year, how to pick the best DNA tests without wasting your time on every review of every company? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!
1. What is DNA testing and who is this for?
DNA testing examines the genetic code that’s carried in every person’s DNA. You can find the code in the cells of any human material, from a drop of saliva to a smear of blood or a strand of hair. It can have a wide range of use cases, from paternity disputes to identify if you’re predisposed to genetic-based diseases, or even find where in the world you came from as well as unknown contemporary relatives.
2. How do I use the kit?
There will be instructions included when you purchase the kit. Usually, you’ll receive a sterile tube or a cheek swab to collect your saliva sample. Then you’ll need to seal it into the sterile package and use the included mailing package to send it back to the company. It takes around 4 to 12 weeks for the company to send you an email with a link to the results online. Some ancestry DNA companies have a dashboard that lets you explore your results.
Do note that not every company offers the same range of reports. Only a few genealogical DNA testing companies include health and wellness reports. Most of them only provide ancestral reports, although some are more detailed than others. There are also cousin matching reports which allow you to find out if you have any matches with other people registered with the same service.
3. What are the types of DNA testing?
There are 4 main types of DNA testing:
- Paternity tests: Used to confirm who is the father or mother of a person.
- Genealogy or ancestry tests: Genealogists use these tests to determine ancestral ethnicity and relationships.
- Gene therapy DNA testing: Mostly used by parents to check for inheritable genetic conditions or to identify if an embryo is carrying any birth defects.
- Forensic DNA tests: Police use these at crime scenes in order to identify victims or find criminals.
4. Is the result accurate?
The accuracy depends on the type of test you choose.
- Autosomal DNA tests are less accurate the further back you go, they are only useful for about four or five generations.
- mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) tests, on the other hand, provide precise and accurate ancestry results, but only for the maternal line. They remain nearly identical for 50 generations or more.
- Y-DNA tests are detailed, but can only tell you about your direct paternal line. They also remain reliable for many generations, but not as many as the mtDNA tests.
However, it’s important to set realistic expectations before considering any DNA service. Even though the large database is increasing every day, there are certain questions that DNA testing cannot provide the answers.
5. What about my privacy?
A security breach is totally possible. We suggest you check if the company you choose uses industry-standard safeguards and firewalls or not.
On the top of that, don’t forget to read the company’s Terms of service and Privacy policies, as some might sell your details to medical research facilities or commercial partners without your agreement. Always ask who is doing the testing, what exactly the company does with your details as well as samples, can you delete your genetic information and analysis from the company’s website, and are you able to adjust your privacy settings.