The Four Best DNA Tests Available Right Now

May 17, 2017

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Lauren Modery
Lead Copywriter

Ever wonder what your genealogy is outside of records and family lore?

Now with the marvels of science, understanding your DNA is easier than ever.

There are several genealogical DNA companies on the scene that offer affordable ways to learn more about your ancestors. Are you 50% German like your oma says? Do you really have Native American blood in your family? Are you part neanderthal?

Genealogical testing will unlock the mysteries of your family. If you’re interested in testing your DNA, here are four companies to check out.

23andMe
This 11-year-old Silicon Valley wundercompany is known for testing both genealogy and health traits. For $99, 23andMe will unlock your genetic composition from 34 groups of populations, plus neanderthal, dating back thousands of years. They test through your autosomal DNA, which is the DNA you received from recent ancestors on both sides of the family. For $199, you can have your ancestry AND health tested. The Health + Ancestry kit will check certain genetic risks, carrier statuses, traits and wellness. Want to know if you’re a carrier for cystic fibrosis or if you’re at risk for Parkinson’s Disease? This test will help you learn more. 

What makes this DNA kit unique: Unlike the other DNA kits listed here, you can test your health and wellness with the Health + Ancestry option.

Ancestry.com
You may have already started building your family tree through Ancestry.com’s trove of records. If so, adding their DNA test helps unlock even more information for your research. When you link your DNA results to your tree, it will help determine how you are related to DNA matches. Like 23andme, Ancestry.com tests your autosomal DNA, but compares against less populations (26 different regions).

What makes this DNA kit unique: Ancestry.com allows you to connect your DNA to their already existing family database, which is the largest in the world.

Geno 2.0 from National Geographic 
Though this is one of the more expensive basic genealogy kits on the market at $149, Geno 2.0 by Helix for National Geographic checks 43 populations. The only downside is that the kit is unable to test paternal lineage for female test takers.

What makes this DNA unique: Geno 2.0 will compare your DNA against the most populations–43–and against geniuses such as Einstein and Tesla.

Family Tree DNA
This company may be less famous than the other three, but it will offer the most extensive DNA testing. Family Tree DNA is the only one of the four to offer mtDNA testing (maternal line) and Y-DNA testing (paternal line). The Y-DNA test is only available for males since women do not have Y chromosomes. Their tests range from $79-$359 and only compare against 24 populations.

What makes this DNA kit unique: Family Tree DNA offers the most comprehensive DNA results, particularly if you’re a male.

There are several other DNA tests available, but our research found that these four companies are the most common and reputable. It’s important to note that DNA tests aren’t perfect, and they will not give you 100% accurate results. DNA tests are constantly evolving and getting better as more people get their DNA tested.