MyHeritage DNA sets itself apart for two main reasons:
- Comprehensiveness — it can trace your family lineage back over more than a millennium
- Price — it offers some of the most competitive pricing plans available
Even more incredible is the fact that despite being so thorough and so low-cost, it also offers one of the most intuitive and easy to use interfaces as well. There is a single, master page that will allow you to navigate quickly to the major categories of your search including:
- Your family tree
- Photos of potential family members
- Additional research sections
A number of excellent functionalities are held within these pages, including:
- The “Hints” feature — allows you to cross-reference your lineage with that of others to find matches you might not have thought to look for
- “Family Tree” — Allows you to upload your current knowledge of your family tree, eliminating the need to do double work recreating it
In addition, there are three different pricing options so you can get all the information you want for your search, without having to pay for anything you don’t need:
Premium subscription ($6.88/mo)
- 2500 people in your family tree
- Priority support
- Premium family tree builder
- Enhances smart matching
- Access to MyHeritage family sites and members’ collections
PremiumPlus subscription ($10.95/mo)
- Everything in the premium subscription
- Online tree consistency checker
- “Instant discovers” feature lets you add whole branches or photos with a single click
Data Subscription Plan ($9.95/mo)
- Access to over 7 billion historical records including:
- Birth/marriage/death certificates
- Census & immigration records
- Military records
Read more about MyHeritage DNA in our extensive review.
23andMe offers the ability to trace your lineage all the way back to the Neanderthal’s. But be careful! A search so comprehensive that it can trace your DNA to its non-human origins is not for the faint of heart.
Another reason we love 23andMe is that the service is very intuitively designed. Information about your lineage is broken down into two main categories:
- Easy to read format uses graphs, charts and color coded maps to show you your genetic history
- See what percentage of your DNA is Neanderthalic
- Understand how specific parts of your genome are manifesting in ways such as food allergies
Finding lost relatives
- See a list of family members with their exact relations noted (such as distant cousins)
- Quick and easy contact functionality
- “Share & Compare” builds a family tree based on a comprehensive database search
23andMe only offers a single pricing option, $149 for its Personal Genome Service kit. Although a one size fits all policy isn’t ideal, the amount of information available and the numerous features for searching, indexing, and understanding it still makes this service stand out as one of the best available.
Read more about 23andMe in our extensive review.
Living DNA makes our list due to the extensive collaboration features it offers. Unlike many DNA testing services that seek to box you into using just their tools, Living DNA shows an amazing commitment to its core mission. It allows users to cross-check and index the results of their search with other leading DNA ancestry sites like Family Tree DNA and Scotlands DNA.
Its native DNA test results will return information about:
- The whole of your genetic makeup
- Paternal lineage (Y-chromosome DNA)
- Maternal lineage (Mitochondrial DNA)
These features give you an intuitive breakdown of every aspect of your ancestry through both of your parents.
There are also numerous features designed to help you comb through this information and get the answers you are looking for:
- “Through-history” analysis — an interactive map that shows you the migration patterns of your ancestors throughout history
- “Phylogenetic tree” history — shows you not only where your ancestors were physically present, but also the role of their interactions in producing your unique genome
- Academic collaboration — Living DNA has close relationships with several universities that allow users to benefit from new studies and discoveries in DNA testing
Read more about Living DNA in our extensive review.
This is perhaps themes well-known DNA testing company in the world, and with good reason. It has access to more than a billion different data points about your lineage, allowing it to create one of the most comprehensive pictures of your origins possible.
The most popular feature offered is their online family tree builder, that allows you to interact with the sites’ other users in order to find new connections and relatives without even actively searching for them. In addition, there is a very active and helpful community of lineage enthusiasts who will offer support in your search, as well as keep you in the know about the latest techniques available.
To ensure that it remains affordable for anyone, Ancestry.com also offers a number of different pricing options:
- US Discovery ($19.99/mo)— Access to all US records dealing with ancestry
- World Explorer ($34.99/mo) — Access to all US and international records
- All Access Full Membership ($44.99/mo) — Access to all US and international records, as well as Newspapers.com basic and Fold3.com
Read more about Ancestry.com in our extensive review.
Family Tree DNA
Family Tree DNA makes our list because it offers one of the downright coolest features of any DNA lineage testing service. Its “Ancient Origins” functionality continuously checks your DNA test results to DNA being found at ongoing archeological digs on the European continent. It’s a visceral way to bring your lineage to life that no other service can match.
In addition, Family Tree DNA is also one of the most easy to use services available. It offers several search and index features for your data:
- MyOrigins tool — creates a visual depiction of ethnic and national origins, on a percentage basis
- Family Matches — lets you compare your results to that of other members on the site in order to find lost relatives. Data is filtered by both maternal DNA and paternal DNA
Depending on how thorough you want your search to be, there are also four different pricing options available:
“Family Finder” ($79)
- Family finder matches
- Ethnic percentages of your autosomal DNA
“Family Finder + Y37” ($248)
- Everything in the Family Finder kit
- Y-chromosome testing for 37 markers
“Family Finder + Y67” ($347)
- Everything in the Family Finder kit
- Y-chromosome testing for 67 markers
“Autosomal + mtFull Sequence” ($278)
- Everyone in the Family Finder kit
- Full mitochondrial sequencing
Read more about Family Tree DNA in our extensive review.
Today’s DNA testing kits are a powerful tool that will allow you to learn more about your origins, family members, and even find long lost relatives. If you have ever wondered who you are and where you come from, these top 5 services will be able to get you the answers you deserve.