AncestryDNA Vs. MyHeritage

AncestryDNA Vs. MyHeritageBoth of these companies started with software to build and maintain family trees. In the late 2010s, both companies expanded into the DNA direct-to-consumer testing market.

Ancestry and MyHeritage now both offer DNA test kits in addition to their family tree subscription services which provide research and documentation of your family history. While both companies focus on genealogy and DNA ancestry testing, each company has recently released new DNA kits focused on health-screening.

Check out the executive summary of this Ancestry vs. MyHeritage comparison here, or read the whole thing below! (we made a similar comparison for 23andMe vs Ancestry here).

Comparison: Side by Side

 

MyHeritage
AncestryDNA
Can be used for Personal Ancestry Personal Ancestry
DNA collection Cheek Swab Saliva Collection
Number of SNPs tested 702,442 637,639
DNA sample stored Stored Indefinitely Stored Indefinitely
Availability Worldwide excluding France Israel and Poland Around 35 Countries
Price $129-$299 per month for subscription packages

$79 for DNA ancestry test

$19-$45 per month for subscription services

$99 for AncestryDNA test

$109 for AncestryDNA + Traits

Benefits and Unique Selling Points Massive European database of documents

World’s largest connected family tree

See how many living relatives you may have from each region

Competitive Health testing

In-depth ancestry reports

Interactive and comprehensive ancestry results

Massive North American database of records and documents

Compare ancestry origins with your family matches

Highest number of geographical regions (over 1000!)

Platform matching for family Yes Yes
Geographical analysis of ancestry Yes Yes
Special Features Build a family tree with thousands of individuals, using the company’s software and DNA results. Subscription service adds a number of discovery features to find historical documents. Compare ancestry origins between family matches. Use family tree features and research database as part of a subscription package, and get automatically located tips on historical documents.
Number of users Over 2.5 Million Over 14 Million
Ownership Privately owned by Gilad Japhet The investment firm Permira
Address Or Yehuda, Israel 360 W 4800 N Provo, Utah 84604
Website Address https://www.myheritage.com/ https://www.ancestry.com/
Editorial Score

98.2% – Winner

96.2%

Read Review My Heritage Review Ancestry Review
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Conclusion: These two companies are strikingly similar, and were born out of North American and European markets. They test and analyze much of the same genetic information, and provide the user with similar results. Ancestry has nearly 14 million users, which greatly increases their advantage for ancestry-only users. However, if you want to know more about your ancestry and your health-related traits, MyHeritage will provide you with a much more complete testing package.

While the two companies are surprisingly similar, the editors here at CompareDNAKits believe that MyHeritage offers a better value for the average user. 

Our Winner 🏆

Our Runner-Up

Company backgrounds for Ancestry and MyHeritage

Ancestry and MyHeritage have very similar roots. However, their markets have were largely separated before the internet. Ancestry has a complicated company history of providing genealogy research resources, dating back to their first magazines and floppy discs on the subject. Based out of Utah, the company has a very large base of users in the United States and North America in general. 

MyHeritage started in 2003 by a software programmer, Gilad Japhet. The company provided software for creating family trees, much like Ancestry. However, MyHeritage is based out of Israel and the majority of their customers and databases are European. 

In 2012, Ancestry offered its first genetic testing kit. MyHeritage followed suit in 2016. Both companies now service a wide variety of regions and languages. However, since a majority of their customers were from pre-established markets, their genetic databases largely reflect this.

AncestryDNA claims over 14 million users, while MyHeritage claims to hold enough data to create a family tree of 13 million people. Both companies have an even larger database of family tree information, available through a subscription service. As of 2019, both companies have expanded into health traits, in addition to their ancestry analysis.

Winner - company background / reputation:

Winner: Draw! As each company gains a more world-wide distribution, the differences in their customer base will be reduced. Ancestry has been around slightly longer and has many more DNA kit users, but MyHeritage boasts powerful software and an incredible user-base. 

Ancestry vs MyHeritage Offerings

 Ancestry

AncestryDNA offers a look into your relatively recent ancestral past. For reasons they explain on their support site, Ancestry only looks at autosomal DNA. This gives a good look at your more recent ancestors. The tests compare your DNA with that of over 1000 reference populations from around the world. With this data and data from their tens of millions of family tree users, the company can estimate your relatedness to various global populations to a high degree of accuracy.  

An interesting feature of the service is the ability to track and learn more about potential migrations your family may have been a part of. Ancestry shows these potential migrations and provides some background on why these migrations took place. The platform also has a family matching service, which can predict how closely related you are to other users of their platform. This service allows willing participants to contact each other to further explore their family heritage. 

The Ancestry DNA kit is typically $99, and the company has various subscription services available for building and exploring your family tree. 

Since 2019, Ancestry also offers the AncestryHealth Core DNA kit. This test covers a variety of traits, covering two main areas: Carrier Status, and Health Risks. Carrier status reports relate to genes you carry that can cause genetic disorders, such as Tay-Sachs disease and Cystic Fibrosis. Health Risk reports cover a variety of potentially-harmful genes related to breast and ovarian cancer, as well as genes related to heart and blood health.

The Ancestry DNA kit is typically $99, and the company has various subscription services available for building and exploring your family tree.

MyHeritage

MyHeritage also offers a DNA test kit for exploring your genetic ancestry. Like Ancestry, their kit analyzes your relatedness to different global populations. With their lower number of users and smaller reference populations, the company can only assign your genes to around 42 different global regions. Ancestry definitely has the lead on geographic regions and reference populations, but in other areas MyHeritage excels. 

Their platform provides interactive maps for exploring your family’s history, in addition to a number of fun historical information. One feature even estimates how many of their users from each region are related to you, showing on a global map where these living relatives are located. The service also allows you to match to known relatives and contact them if you both consent. Unlike Ancestry, the service does not seem to analyze possible mass migrations your family was a part of.

MyHeritage also started offering DNA health testing services. The MyHeritage Health+Ancestry test provides much more thorough analysis of your health traits, compared to ancestry. Where Ancestry provides only 3 Carrier Status reports, MyHeritage provides 18 carrier status reports. They also provide analysis of 18 health-traits including breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and many more.

Winner - level of offering:

Winner: MyHeritage takes a small advantage in this category. Ancestry does have more geographic regions it can match your ethnicity to, but MyHeritage has far more health offerings that create a much more balanced Health and Ancestry DNA package. Both companies boast a large database of users, resources, and tools for analyzing who you are related to. Unfortunately, both companies focus on autosomal DNA and miss the deep ancestry provided by mtDNA and Y-DNA. 

Compare AncestryDNA and MyHeritage Results

When it comes to the results you receive, both companies provide an online platform detailing the results of your test. Both companies have interactive maps, allowing you to explore various regions where your ancestors originated from. Ancestry has a slight advantage here as well because their maps are supposedly easier to use and understand. Further, Ancestry provides information about how your family may be connected to mass migrations. This information, tied into their vast research library, could provide real and complete evidence about your family history.

Winner - level of results:

Winner: MyHeritage, by a nose! MyHeritage and Ancestry offer incredibly similar tests. Both companies offer ancestry and health testing, but MyHeritage will provide you with far more health related information. Ancestry does analyze more reference populations, but users may be disappointed with their health-testing results. So, a general user will likely be more satisfied with MyHeritage. That being said, if you only care about ancestry you will find more accurate ethnicity analysis with Ancestry.  

Will your data be shared?

Both companies claim that your data will never be sold to third-party business, but will be used for research and product development. MyHeritage has a clause in their Privacy Policy which gives them the license to basically use your sample any way they choose. Ancestry did not seem to have this blanket clause present in their Privacy Statement, though the user does agree to allow them to research and use the information. 

Winner - data protection:

Winner: Draw! Both companies will use your data to improve their services and research genealogy. MyHeritage phrases it in worse terms, but Ancestry basically has equal privileges over your data. The good news is both companies allow you to delete your data upon request. 

Media coverage and user opinions

Both companies have had their fair share of media coverage, both good and bad. MyHeritage suffered some bad publicity in 2017 when the company was hacked. Nearly all 100 million users had to change their passwords, but it seems no private data was exposed. Ancestry has taken heat for providing seemingly inaccurate results to some users, but in general has mostly positive coverage. 

In terms of reviews, Ancestry fairs slightly worse than MyHeritage. On Amazon, Ancestry has over 6,800 reviews with 4.1 of 5 stars. MyHeritage has just over 1,000 reviews on Amazon, with an average of 3.9 stars. However, Trustpilot gives MyHeritage 3.5 of 5 stars with over 5,800 reviews. Users who reviewed Ancestry on Trustpilot give the service only 2.5 stars with over 4,700 total reviews.

Winner - media coverage and user opinions:

Winner: Draw! Both companies have some bad press, some good. While Ancestry is slightly behind MyHeritage in terms of user reviews, this may be simply because of Trustpilot’s review policies. 

Conclusion: Ancestry vs. MyHeritage

Anyone looking to use one of these services is interested mostly in their genealogy and family history. Both companies mainly focus on your relatively recent historical past. Both companies also offer access to a wide variety of non-DNA resources and family tree software to build and explore your history. Both companies also provide a means for finding and contacting genetic relatives. Both companies also recently started offering additional health testing services, but MyHeritage provides a much more thorough analysis.

Ancestry, while they have more users and ancestral reference populations, does not compete on the health side of things.  With the company’s massive user database, Ancestry should be able to offer even more health-related traits than its largest competitors, but they offer far fewer than most companies. People only interested in their family tree will be happy, but most people want as much information as they can get. MyHeritage can offer a great ancestry analysis, in addition to a large and useful combination of Carrier Status reports and Health Risk reports.

 

Winner: MyHeritage, with one caveat. MyHeritage provides a well-rounded service, great user interface, and has mostly positive reviews. The one caveat is for users only interested in genealogy and ethnicity estimates, which may be more accurate with Ancestry.com. For people interested in everything DNA analysis has to offer, MyHeritage is a great choice!

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1 year ago

[…] and limited databases. They also can be dangerous as they create a risk of identity theft. The biggest companies are Ancestry and My Heritage. These are the names you should be focusing on if you want to play around using DNA home testing […]

Scribbler
Scribbler
11 months ago

One important piece of information I was looking for wasn’t addressed in this otherwise helpful comparison. How can one import and export information to share with family members who are part of the other service? Is this possible? Easy to do? What about importing from other family tree software programs, and other DNA services?

Judee Fearn
Judee Fearn
8 months ago

It’s so obvious that this entire read was based on the best choice is Heritage. I do not agree. U say amazon and thier choice but the say …whoever…showing heritage the best. I ordered and paid for the Heritage as I needed the health part also. The package came with swabs pack open. I called them they said we’ll give u a credit now and u destroy kit as we have destroyed anyone being able to use it. I kept kit thank goodness as it took 2 more calls and 2 months to get a credit I had to pay… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
7 months ago

They said that MyHeritage has a great user interface. I disagree. I have a Mac and I also used to have a tree and a subscription at MyHeritage. I thought the user interface was substandard and it was one of the reasons that I left MyHeritage.