DNA genetic testing can help you unlock a lot of hidden information about yourself, your health, and your ancestry. For example, you could explore your entire family history stretching back generations. Or, you can receive personalized nutrition and exercise plans based on your genetics. One of the more renowned places to go for this is 23andme, which has a variety of kits to choose from, all of which help you learn specific information about yourself and your heritage. But there are other services you can use, which is especially prescient considering the recent data breach at 23andme. If you’re looking for a reliable 23andme alternative, that’s exactly what this guide will ascertain.
- Try if you want one of the best overall genetic testing experiences.
- Try if you want to connect with long-lost relatives.
- Try if you want to deep dive into your familial history and ancestors.
- Try if you want to explore ancient ancestry knowledge.
- Try if you want to explore your genes and genomic variants.
- Try if you truly want to unlock personalized health insights.
The best overall
As one of the best alternatives, period, with top-notch testing options, AncestryDNA is undoubtedly worth considering. Once you test, you gain access to an extensive database of more than 18 million DNA samples, and yes, that’s one of the largest databases worldwide. That, in turn, helps you unlock an array of information about yourself and your heritage. With an archive of over 20 billion historical records, analytics for over 70,000 genetic markers, and DNA matching for those in your family tree, there’s a lot to love and explore. You’ll receive your results after you send your test in about six to eight weeks.
Best for connecting with relatives
If you’re looking for comprehensive and detailed reports about your ancestry, distant relatives, and family tree, MyHeritage is the DNA testing service to use. You can use it to find new or long-lost relatives, dig deep into historical records, and even access old photos of your family’s history. Where are your ancestors from? What geographic regions and ethnicities are part of your family’s history? After a quick cheek swab and sending out your test, you’ll get results in about three to four weeks.
Best for learning about your history
While most of these DNA testing services offer similar features, Living DNA focuses on matching your ethnicity across major and minor regions — there are over 100 sub-regions. Why does this matter? You’ll learn more about where you come from rather than just Europe, Africa, or Asia. You’ll also be able to dig into personalized geographic and cultural information about your heritage, plus a DNA tool that matches your genetics to those all around the world with an interactive map to explore. Living DNA’s Family Network feature will automatically put you in touch with DNA matches who are your relatives, but it’s an optional feature. If you don’t want to use it, you don’t have to. Test results will come back in about six to eight weeks.
Best for ancient heritage
FamilyTreeDNA offers many of the exact details as the other 23andme alternatives, but what makes it unique is an option to dive deep into ancient information. After a test, you’ll be able to trace your ancestry back to ancient times to discover what ethnic groups you are related to. We’re not talking about Europe, Asia, or Africa here, we’re talking about Neolithic or Stone Age hunters and gatherers, bronze-age invaders, and more. There is a family finder for genetic matches and tests for your mtDNA and YDNA for paternal and maternal insights, too. Results will come back anywhere from four to eight weeks after you send them in.
Best for gene exploration
Billed as state-of-the-art deep genetic testing backed by an extensive historical database, Nebula Genomics offers worldwide testing. A unique feature here is that you can leverage YFull’s Y-DNA and mtDNA databases to “unlock more” genome information. Learn about your ancestry, health predispositions, rare genetic mutations, oral microbiome, and more. If you’re more interested in the gene side of DNA analytics, this service is for you. Test results take about eight weeks to return.
Best for health insights
If you’d like a service that offers excellent health insights, particularly about your body and nutrition, SelfDecode is the way to go. It’s heavily focused on those personalized health recommendations, more so than any of the other 23andme alternatives on this list. Through the information, you’ll learn how you can better optimize your health, plan targeted fitness routines, and prepare for developing health conditions, whether that includes potential health risks, genetic predispositions, and dietary or lifestyle opportunities. Those using the service have seen measurable health improvements like improved fitness levels, decreased CRP levels, and better mental health. Test results take about six to eight weeks to come back.
The two top choices for DNA testing and insights are 23andme and AncestryDNA, but they’re not the only options, as we’ve demonstrated here. If you’re interested in another service, you’ll also want to know what criteria we used to make our choices. Here’s why we picked the 23andme alternatives that we did:
The method is DNA testing, but the insights you’ll receive depend on the service. For example, separate tests may be available to learn more about your health and ancestry. Some services may not even offer specific formats. We tried to balance between a healthy mix of testing and insights to give you a viable option for whatever you want to explore and discover.
Privacy and Security
Your DNA and all of the health insights with it are susceptible. We tried to select services that take your privacy and data security seriously. We can’t know for sure, of course, so we highly encourage you to do your own research here.
Most results will come back anywhere from four to eight weeks after you send in the sample, and it just depends on the service. Everything on this list meets that timeline, although some definitely take longer than hours.
Some DNA testing kits are a one-time price, while others require a subscription so you can retain access to historical records and the DNA database at large. We chose a mix of services with traditional to subscription-based payment options. Consider whether or not you want to be able to access the insights and information indefinitely and online from any device. If you do, go with a subscription payment plan.
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