Everyone wants to learn more about who they are, where they came from, and who came before them. DNA test services allow you to answer these questions and more about yourself. Today, it is possible to find long lost relatives, discover your ethnic ancestry, and even pinpoint the region your ancestors came from using at-home ancestry DNA testing kits such as CRI genetics. To date, more than 18 million Americans have bought these kits. The popularity and efficacy of these kits is in no doubt. But are they made equal? Here are some DNA ancestry test 2019 reviews of the most popular service providers.
23andMe is one of the most popular names in the DNA testing industry. It has more than five million users and provides five ancestry reports and optional relative matching. The service is simple and easy to understand. You get a variety of information from a single DNA sample and a health screening upgrade approved by the FDA. It’s a great option if:
- You’re looking for your relatives
- Want to learn about your family tree and ancestry
- Want to get a complete picture of your health profile
The sample collection kit provided by 23andMe is very easy to use. The only problem is that it can take a while to work up enough spit for the sample tube. Even so, most users prefer the saliva sample to the cheek swab used by other companies since it can be painful.
With each kit, you get a sample return box that you can drop in the mail. Postage is free. It takes about 30 days cumulatively to get your results.
You can view your results on an intuitive dashboard once they’re ready. 23andMe breaks down the world into 171 different populations. This is based off a reference panel of 10,000 people with known ancestry. You also get your DNA family results where you can see people in their database with whom you share DNA segments. With an upgrade costing $125, you can access additional information regarding your health.
23andMe is lives up to its promise as an at-home DNA testing service. You will receive valuable information regarding your relatives, genetic traits, and heritage in its system. It has an extensive number of details, reports, and facts presented in an elegant dashboard with a wide range of visualizations. The only downside is the confusing privacy where it’s possible for 23andMe to sell your data.
This is by far the biggest name in the genealogy and DNA testing industry. With more than 10 million users and the largest DNA sample data in existence, it’s easy to see why. Usually, the more DNA samples a provider has the more specific and accurate the results are.
The sample collection kit from AncestryDNA includes a test tube and a funnel. Collect the sample by spitting into the tube making sure to fill it up to the marked line. Once you’re done, cap it off and send the sample back to the lab. It takes about 35 days to get your results. You will get notifications at every stage.
The AncestryDNA dashboard shows a preview of your DNA Matches, Ethnicity Estimates and DNA circles. The service provider also gives you a snapshot of the migration of your genetic ancestors over time. You’ll see where they came from and where they moved to in the US. You also get the option to interact with your DNA matches in the company’s database.
Ancestry DNA is a great service that delivers simple instructions and interactive results. It has the largest DNA database to help match you with relatives and has a very accurate ethnic breakdown. The only downside is the additional cost of viewing your family tree and other genealogy services.
3. National Geographic Geno 2.0
This service connects your genome to your past via an in-depth geographical ancestry exploration over three time periods. This involves testing your Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA to get insights into your ancient ancestry, regional ancestry, and Hominin ancestry. This is a great service if you’re more interested in personal context than genealogical information.
National Geographic Geno 2.0 uses Helix’s next-generation sequencing platform. You collect the sample using a Helix sample collection kit. The Helix kit is easy to use and has clear instructions that make it easy for first timers to use. The kit contains two swabs that you use to scrap the inside of your cheeks for about 45 seconds each. The scrapping triggers saliva production making sample collection much easier. Once you’ve collected the sample, you place the vials in the plastic bag provided and ship them back in the pre-addressed envelope. Shipping is not covered.
Helix uses exome sequencing to sequence your DNA. This is a different technology from what 23andMe and AncestryDNA use. It will take up to 24 days to get back your results via the Geno 2.0 site. The results include three sections – regional ancestry, hominin ancestry, and deep ancestry. It’s definitely one of the best DNA ancestry test 2019.
National Geographic Geno 2.0 tracks your ancestor’s migration patterns going back 200,000 years. You get in-depth reports and nifty interactive features that make it a joy. The only downside is that the service focuses more on your ancestors than on your personal genetics. You might want to look elsewhere for more personal genetic data.
This service differs from the aforementioned providers in one way – it has more users outside of the USA. For this reason, it is a great service when you want to connect with long lost relatives living in other parts of the world. MyHeritage has a database of 1.75 million users.
The company uses a cheek swab sample. It’s easier to use than the saliva kit provided by competing companies but it can cause irritation in your mouth. You get two swabs in the kit. Roll each against the inside of your cheeks to collect the sample. You’re provided with a plastic container to place the swabs after you’re done. You’ll be required to cover shipping costs.
You should get a notification once the samples get the MyHeritage labs and another after your results are ready. The company has one of the shortest turnaround times. It takes about 16 days to get your results. The beautiful dashboard features hotspots indicating your ethnic backgrounds and their percentages. You can expect a slight variation from the results you got from AncestryDNA and 23andMe.
The family tree software and research resources included in MyHeritage are a nice touch. It is easy to understand and use the service. However, sample collection can get a bit tricky. You also don’t get much context to your results. Interpreting your results can be a challenge as can learning more about your ancestors.