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AncestryDNA review

Genetic testing can help you learn about your family's past, or find a long-lost relative.

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AncestryDNA boasts access to the widest DNA pool of any other testing provider on the market. It offers various levels of DNA and family analysis across three different membership packages. But people who are searching for in-depth health-related data may be left out in the cold.

AncestryDNA AncestryDNA

AncestryDNA

6-months Ancestry gift memberships starting at $99

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What is AncestryDNA?

AncestryDNA (formerly Ancestry.com) is a genetic testing company founded in Utah in 1990. It tests users’ DNA so they can trace their geneology as far back as the 16th century in the UK and across Europe, plus learn about their ancestors in more than 80 countries around the world.

DNA testing examines your genetic traits by looking at various “functions” in your genetic code to help you learn more about yourself. Generally, test results could provide you with two different insights:

  • Information related to your family lineage. Learn more about your family history or even find distant relatives.
  • New information about yourself. Research your ethnic composition and areas of familial origin. Some medical history is included, but is not the main analytical focus.

How does AncestryDNA work?

AncestryDNA uses a simple saliva sample to analyze your DNA. Place your order on AncestryDNA and it will send you a test kit where you provide your sample through a swab or spitting into a tube.

Send the sample back in its prepaid envelope for testing. You should receive an email within six to eight weeks with a link to access your results online in a password-protected account.

How much does AncestryDNA cost?

A testing kit from AncestryDNA costs $99 and the service offers three membership tiers, each of which provide different levels of access to your DNA profile.

PlansMonthly membershipSix-month membership
U.S. Discovery. Gives users access to all Ancestry’s US records.$24.99$99
World Explorer. Allows users to access all Ancestry’s US and international records.$39.99$149
All Access. A full membership level that gives full access to:

  • Ancestry
  • Newspaper.com Basic — Access to almost 18,000 newspapers from the 1700s and beyond in countries all over the world
  • Fold3.com — Search among almost six million military, census, naturalization records, Holocaust records and more
$49.99$199

What features come with AncestryDNA?

AncestryDNA analyzes your DNA and integrates that data with your family tree. Here’s what you can expect with an Ancestry DNA kit.

  • Analysis drawn from a wide gene pool. AncestryDNA taps into more than 18 million DNA tests with population data from over 1,000 regions globally.
  • Intuitive results. AncestryDNA uses well-presented analytics in the form of a written report, with visuals like maps and pie charts. You’ll have the option of using discovered DNA matches to craft a family tree. You may also view a map of where your ancestors lived, among other features.
  • Ongoing updates. AncestryDNA updates your results based on new research, additional reference samples and improved research tools.
  • Opportunities to reach out to relatives. You can tap AncestryDNA’s network of over 15 million members to reach out to your potential relatives.

Pros and cons

All DNA testing kits will come with specific benefits and drawbacks. These can help to determine which testing kit suits you best.

  • Offers the largest pool of data out of any other DNA search provider to help you find potential relatives
  • Download your raw DNA data to use on other related sites
  • Huge network of members to help you reach out to newfound family members
  • Access to historical records costs extra
  • Subscription packages to access the most data are pricey
  • Health testing features are less thorough in comparison to other DNA testing providers
  • Reviews cite that East Asian pool of data may be quite limited

Compare AncestryDNA to other DNA test kits

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Price starting at: DNA collection type Timeframe Tracks health and traits? DNA database
23andMe
$99
Saliva
3-5 weeks
Health and traits
5 million customers
AncestryDNA
$99
Saliva
6-8 weeks
Traits
18 million customers
Living DNA
$49
Saliva
6-8 weeks
Traits
N/A
ORIG3N Fitness and Nutrition Bundle
ORIG3N Fitness and Nutrition Bundle
$249
Saliva
6-8 weeks
Health and traits
500 million customers
Silverberry Genomix
Silverberry Genomix
$89
Saliva
4 weeks
Traits
N/A
DNA Fingerprint Plus
DNA Fingerprint Plus
$279
Fingerprint
3 weeks
Traits
N/A
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

AncestryDNA connects to a wide gene pool to link you up with distant relatives. It offers a straightforward testing process, with intuitive analysis and plenty of tools for you to reach out to any newfound relatives.

But the most detailed results and inquiries are expensive, and health data is less in-depth than other testing services. For specific health-related inquiries, search out other DNA testing providers.

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