When I Googled “best autosomal DNA test” recently, I was disturbed by the heavy bias in some of the leading search results. Many of the reviewers receive a fee when you purchase a particular test through their website, while others seem to place higher importance on features that are probably not very important to the serious family historian (e.g. how long it took to receive the kit).
The most obvious bogus evaluation was Top 10 Best DNA Testing Sites. This site rates My Heritage as the number one choice for an autosomal DNA test, with an overall ranking of 9.8 out of 10. How can this be when My Heritage has the smallest database of test subjects, no analysis tools and requires a paid monthly subscription to get full value out of your DNA test.
No one test is best for everyone, as we all have different preferences, objectives and reasons for taking a DNA test, so any evaluation needs to take your individual needs into consideration. In an attempt to provide a less-biased evaluation, I have created a DNA test evaluator, where you define the importance of each feature.
If you do not have a good understanding of DNA test features and the use of DNA in family history, you may want to read Roberta Estes’ analysis of the big 3 DNA test offerings, before using the DNA test evaluator. Roberta is a scientist, but does receive a fee if you order a Family Tree DNA test through her website.
Note – This DNA test evaluator was created using Microsoft Excel, so you will need an app / program on your computer capable of reading .xlsx files, in order to use the evaluator.
The evaluator is simple to use – provide yes / no answers to 6 questions, and identify the importance to you of each of 21 features by assigning each with a number from 0 to 10. The evaluator will identify the relative rating of each testing company, based on your identified preferences.
Click here to go to my website and access the evaluator.
If you have any comments regarding this tool (good or bad), please email them to me, and I will attempt to improve it.
Disclaimer – I have taken autosomal DNA tests with 23andMe & Ancestry, and have transferred one of these results to Family Tree DNA and My Heritage. I do not have a paid subscription to Ancestry or My Heritage, and am not affiliated with any of these testing companies in any other way. I am an amateur family historian with no formal education in genetics.