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GEDmatch vs. 23andMe
23andMe was one of the first companies on the DNA testing scene. Backed by Google Ventures and other large venture capital firms, 23andMe has been used by around 5 million curious consumers. GEDmatch, on the other hand, is a free tool available online for amateur genetic genealogists to uncover their past. The article below gives pros and cons for each company and discusses the data compatibility they share.
- $99 for Ancestry Service
- $199 for Health + Ancestry Service
- One of the largest and best reviewed genetic testing companies
- Can get information on genetic risks and ancestry
- An easy-to-use platform for understanding test results and finding DNA matches
- Download your raw DNA data file for use on GEDmatch.com and other sites
- DNA testing results are not customizable
- No free services
23andMe has made its way to the top rung of DNA testing companies since its inception in 2006. With their Health + Ancestry DNA test kit, they have a bit of information for every curious DNA novice. With their platform, you can find living relatives, discover your genetic risk for various conditions, and view a chromosome browser to look at your DNA.
- Most features FREE
- $10/month for Tier 1 Features
- A mostly-free genetic genealogy service
- Use a variety of tools to measure your DNA in centimorgans (cM) and compare DNA segments to others
- Find relatives on the platform, and research your haplotype
- Steep learning curve
- Visually unappealing platform
GEDmatch Genesis is a platform which allows users to research their own genome using a number of tools for genealogy research. For example, you can measure your genome in total cM, then compare that measurement to matches on the platform to see how close you are related. The site will also give you an admixture report, similar to an “ethnicity estimate”. After uploading a raw data file, the platform allows you to use a chromosome browser and measure components of your autosomal DNA, X-DNA, mtDNA, and Y-DNA.
With their Tier 1 phasing tool, you can even split your genome into maternal and paternal sources to better track your mom and dad’s family, and see which other users you have DNA in common with. Other Tier 1 tools include the ability to recreate a deceased person’s DNA from their relatives, or the ability to research a GEDCOM family tree. Although GEDmatch is complex, it is used by law enforcement as a family finder for unknown or criminal DNA samples.
23andMe and GEDmatch Compatibility
If you get a genetic test through 23andMe, you will be able to download a DNA file which is compatible with GEDmatch. Although 23andMe has some ancestry tools and allows you to match to users within their database, you can often find additional matches and other information with your test results on GEDmatch.
Do More With Your Raw DNA Data!
23andMe tests a significant amount of SNPs. Over 600,000, in fact! While they use many of these to explore traits related to health and ancestry, they do not give you information on all of these sites. GEDmatch is a great tool for exploring your ancestry, but they give no other information. To get the most of your DNA kit, consider the following companies. Many of them allow you to upload your 23andMe DNA results for free, and can provide you information on nutrition, health, fitness, and many other traits.
To find out more DNA upload sites, check out our article "The Best DNA Upload Sites"