Ancestry DNA vs Family Tree DNA 

By  Editorial Team

AncestryDNA FamilytreeDNA National Geographic
AncestryDNA FamilytreeDNA
National Geographic

AncestryDNA vs Family Tree vs National Geographic

Where do you come from? If you want to know and want to send for a DNA test, which company should you use? If you’d like to know about your family ancestry and relatives, the technology is now available, and the price is lower than you’d think. Below we’ve reviewed three of the most popular options and discuss their relative merits to help you choose a DNA testing company that is right for you.

Types of DNA Tests

There are three types of DNA tests you can have performed if you are interested in learning more about your ancestry. The first is an autosomnal DNA test. The second is a yDNA (y-chromosome) test. And the third is a mtDNA (mitochondrial) test.

The autosomnal (Autosomal DNA is a term used in genetics to describe DNA which is inherited from the autosomal chromosomes. An autosome is any of the numbered chromosomes, as opposed to the X and Y sex chromosomes)test finds matches with other individuals who might have shared some of your DNA and can reach out as far as 5th cousins. So if you’re looking for relatives who may still be alive, and would like to find them, this is the way to go. yDNA tests can only be taken by males and follows the paternal line. mtDNA follows the maternal line through mitochondrial DNA. The last two can help you search very far back in time (thousands of years!) which may or may not be what you’re looking for.

Ancestry DNA

The first company we’re looking at is Ancestry DNA which is part of the popular website Ancestry.com. They have a large online community. Price starts at $99.


• Saliva test checking over 700,000 markers

• Very large database with 1.4 million people

• Biographical ancestry analysis

• Stores your DNA forever

• Great customer service and community


• Only offers autosomnal DNA testing

• Cannot upload data from other services


The Genographic Project

The next company is part of the National Geographic Genographic project. Prices start at $199. And you get to be a part of a global research project! National Geographic is a well known name but not as well known in the world of genetic testing.



• Advanced testing of autosomnal and mtDNA, as well as limited yDNA.

• Strong customer service and community

• Extensive biographical analysis


• Cannot upload data from other services

• No Chromosome browser

• No way to use the website to help you connect with matches

Family Tree DNA

The last company we’re looking at is Family Tree DNA. They offer all three of the primary DNA tests, autosomnal, mtDNA, and yDNA. They also have the lowest prices, starting at only $99.


• Good price

• Offers all three kinds of DNA tests

• Chromosome browser tool

• Will give you the email addresses of your trusted matches

• Allows you to transfer data from another service into theirs

• Stores your data for up to 25 years


• Database is not as large as some other companies.

• No health reports


Comparing AncestryDNA vs Family Tree DNA vs National Geographic, it really depends. Any of these companies is a solid choice, depending upon what your goals are. Specifically, because Family Tree DNA allows you to upload test results from other companies to then use in their database and browser, it makes it a great option. You can use it alone. Or, if you are looking to do deeper research, you can use one of the other services first, then use Family Tree as your second source. If you are adopted and looking for your birth family, Ancestry DNA is probably the best choice, with Family Tree DNA second. Ancestry has the advantage of the family trees, but Family Tree DNA does have DNA relative results and a chromosome browser you can use to see where your genome matches.  For the best of both worlds, you can also DNA test with Ancestry, download your raw DNA, then upload it to Family Tree DNA for a small charge.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}