Top 5 Ancestry Genetic Testing Companies

Top 5 Ancestry Genetic Testing Companies

The genetic testing industry is booming! Last year, The MIT review reported over 12 million people to have consulted these services to have their genes analyzed.  Direct-to-consumer DNA testing companies do very important work in terms of identifying and preempting possible diseases. However, their most fascinating work invariably lies in DNA-based genealogy tests.

Tracing our ancestry is something that resonates with all of us at a personal level. It addresses questions like: who are we? where did we come from? could we possibly be distant relatives of a celebrity? The following is a vetted compilation of the 5 best companies that offer ancestry genetic tests.

Which are the best ancestry genetic testing companies?

  1. Ancestry DNA ($99)
  2. 23andMe ($99)
  3. Family Tree DNA ($99)
  4. Living DNA ($89)
  5. My Heritage DNA ($79)

Ancestry DNA

  • As the name suggests, Ancestry DNA is all about genealogy; making it a top pick for genealogy enthusiasts.
  • Among its competitors, AncestryDNA has the largest customer base of over 10 million people (as of 2017).
  • They constantly upgrade their algorithms and currently work with 350+ geographical regions with added features like ‘cousin matches’ and ‘migration patterns’.  
  • Ancestry DNA does not offer Y-DNA or mtDNA testing which can link to very specific genetic lines.
  • AncestryDNA have the highest number of reference panels, giving it the broadest global representation of over 300 genetic communities.
  • While the majority of their customers are European, they are now actively focusing on expanding their depth in Africa, Asia, and South America.
  • Their website interface is interactive and user-friendly.

View Ancestry DNA sample report

 

23andMe

  • While 23andMe provides solid genealogical reports, their larger focus is to provide a starting point for more health-based genetic testing.  
  • This company focuses more on the personal journey that genetic testing has to offer and is often the second choice for hard-core genealogists.
  • Unlike our number one pick, 23andMe does not have an expansive family tree builder or genealogical records.
  • They aim to provide a more holistic approach to genetic testing and a better insight into your genetic makeup by including reports on Ancestry Composition, DNA Relatives, Neanderthal Ancestry, Maternal Haplogroup, and Paternal Haplogroup.
  • 23andMe by far offers the best haplogroup analysis among the top 5.

                                                                          View 23andMe sample report

Living DNA

Living DNA Genetic Test Kit

  • Launched in 2016, Living DNA is relatively new to the industry.
  •  The company, however, has numerous tie-ups with academic researchers, genetic and genomics experts, and universities to constantly refine their DNA results and migration routes.
  • Twenty-one of Living DNA’s geographical ancestry regions are located within Britain and Ireland, making it a comprehensive test for the general UK population.
  • Customer testimonials claim that it has extreme value for money. 
  • Although living DNA has a small database at the moment, it is rapidly growing and expanding.

 

MyHeritage DNA

  • MyHeritage DNA offers the lowest price for its tests, being almost $20 dollars less than its competitors.
  • It is one of the best companies there for in-depth autosomal DNA analysis and genealogical research.
  • MyHeritage’s customer base is sourced largely outside the US, making it an attractive option for Americans looking to connect with long-lost relatives across the Atlantic.
  • Accessing research on MyHeritage is free and has the shortest waiting period for any major company.  
  • The only drawback from MyHeritage’s results is the magnitude by which the database differs from giants like AncestryDNA and 23andMe.

 

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA)

  1. Family Tree DNA was founded nearly 20 years ago, making it the oldest company on this list.
  2. While FTDNA is considered to be one of the longest-running and well-known ancestry DNA testing companies around, it’s place has largely been taken up by younger companies.  
  3. The Family Finder genetic test uses autosomal DNA to provide a range of insights on one’s ancestry composition.
  4. It provides a large number of matches and specific insights into Y DNA and mtDNA. However, Y and Mt-DNA tests need to be purchased separately.
  5. Being able to see their family trees for free is a special attraction.
  6. However, explanations for more complex aspects of the result tables would be helpful.
  7. So long as people are prepared to take the time to research the results work out how to use all the tools available, FTDNA is an excellent website for genealogy enthusiasts.  

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