6 things you should know before buying MyHeritage
MyHeritage may be well behind 23andMe and Ancestry when it comes to total users, but that can change (and rather quickly, as we have learned). While the company has flip-flopped on offering health tests, they do offer a massive historical records database that is very concentrated with documents from the European Union countries (and that feature is not going away anytime soon).
For some users, this is exactly what they are looking for and they can begin their journey of ancestral discovery. Here at Genomelink, we think it is important to select the right DNA testing kit for your needs. Many consumer DNA kits have various options, prices, and features. So, you need to do your research to find the right one.
The following review is in our standardized format, making it easy for you to compare and find the right DNA kit for your needs!
1. About the Company
2. Test Results and Sample Reports
5. Best Alternatives to MyHeritage
6. Upload Raw DNA Data from
1. About The Company
Company Name: MyHeritage
Foundation Year: 2003
Location: Or Yehuda, Israel
Monthly Visits: 45 Million+
Number of Databases: 74 Million users, 67 Million family trees, > 4.5 million DNA test kit sales
Though MyHeritage started in the ancestry-side of DNA testing, the company quickly expanded to health testing and carrier status testing as well. As of this writing, MyHeritage scrapped their health test offering. Apparently, they prefer to focus solely on their ancestry test and are leaving health DNA analysis to other companies.
But, don’t let that turn you off! With one of the largest genetic search engines in the business, this DNA testing service will definitely help you uncover new relatives. You may also be able to find family photos and other instant discoveries with MyHeritage’s desktop software and historical documents access. MyHeritage also has great customer service, according to their very high customer review ratings.
MyHeritage.com has its roots well before the time of consumer DNA test kits. The company was founded in 2003 by Gilad Japhet, a software engineer. Japhet saw the demand for family tree services and developed one of the first computer-based family tree applications and the algorithms to support it. 4 years before the first DNA sample would be collected with a consumer DNA testing kit, MyHeritage allowed customers to create intricate and well-documented family trees on the internet.
MyHeritage is essentially the same as Ancestry.com, only its main user base started in Europe. Essentially, the company acts like Google for your family story, allowing you to search for death certificates, historical records, military records, and other documents electronically (for a premium price, of course). If you know that your ancestors emigrated from Europe and want to know more about them, it might be a great option to find in-depth records of them that you can correlate with your DNA sample and new relatives you find! MyHeritage has also partnered with FamilySearch to provide users access to over 2 billion North American historical records.
In 2016, the company joined the world of DNA testing with the MyHeritageDNA kit, now available worldwide to new users. The company also offers a mobile app on Android and iOS, allowing access to new features right from your smartphone! Today, the company not only offers a great DNA testing kit, but also has the largest European-specific historical records database in the world.
2. Reviews of Test Results & Sample Reports
Below, you can see what to expect from your DNA results with MyHeritageDNA.
MyHeritageDNA Report Overview:
- See a breakdown of your genetics using the Ethnicity Estimate tool
- Detailed ancestry matching with over 42 ethnic groups, found worldwide
- Includes common regions like Europe, Ireland, Africa, Scotland, New York, and others!
- Find family members using the DNA Matches feature
- More specific results and historical records from European Countries
The results you will receive from MyHeritage can be seen in the image below. Your Ethnicity Estimate is a breakdown of where your genes came from, presented as both a percentage and as a map. These detailed views can help you elucidate where your family came from, and how they may have migrated. Further, you can click on the DNA Matches tab to find out if you have any existing relatives on the platform. According to MyHeritage, many families have been reunited using their DNA matching service.
The page below contains more information about reports from MyHeritageDNA, and how to use them to discover your family history.
3. MyHeritage Reviews - Specific Products (Updated on Mar 2021)
If you are looking to discover your ethnic origins, MyHeritage is a great place to start. The company gives you smart matches from your autosomal DNA and a chromosome browser to view where your genes originated. But, MyHeritage has also expanded into genetic testing for DNA health traits - now offering 40+ specific reports!
This section summarizes user experiences with this genetic testing company, specific to each product!
- Reviews of MyHeritage DNA Test - Ancestry Kit
The MyHeritage DNA Ancestry kit is the cheaper of MyHeritage’s offerings, though it allows users to track their ethnicity globally: Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Spanish, South American, and even Indigenous American! A large majority of MyHeritage Ancestry Kit users (over 60%!) gave the product 5 stars on Amazon.
Only 13% of users gave the product 1 star, the main reason being that features like the historical records database and connecting to family members are hidden behind a paywall. Be sure to understand what you are getting with a DNA test before you buy!
- Reviews of MyHeritage Subscription - For Genetic Genealogy
While no sites allow users to review MyHeritage’s subscription packages, you can find a number of impactful user reviews on the MyHeritage Blog. Many of the people in these stories used the paid subscription program to help them identify important connections through their family tree using both DNA and historical documents - the most powerful tools MyHeritage has to offer. MyHeritage offers Premium, PremiumPlus, Data, and Complete subscription packages that allow different levels of access to their historical documents treasure trove. You can check out all the differences between these packages and the pricing of each on the MyHeritage website.
- General MyHeritage DNA Reviews (Updated on Feb 2021)
Users on several prominent websites have reviews from MyHeritage users that are more general MyHeritage. Many of them mention the great customer support they received from MyHeritage. Check them out!
3.8 of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with over 10,000+ reviews
4.4 of 5 stars on Amazon, with over 4,200+ reviews
100% Positive on Google, with over 800+ reviews
“A+” Rating with the Better Business Bureau
See a discussion of MyHeritage vs. 23andMe at the following Reddit page.
4. Cost Review
The MyHeritageDNA kit is $79, though the company regularly runs discounts. For instance, at the time of this writing, you can get the ancestry kit for only $39!
If genealogy is of interest to you, then you might also be interested in their family tree service. Ranging on the service you select, a yearly subscription can run between $129 to $189. This service gives you access to a number of historical records. Further, MyHeritage boasts the largest record database in Europe, and it competes with Ancestry’s records database in the US. In this database, you are sure to find many record matches if you family is from Europe or has a European decent.
The service also allows you to greatly expand your family tree within the family tree builder, even to an unlimited size with the most expensive package. Given that MyHeritage has created the world’s largest family tree of over 13 million people, this is a considerable resource for the price. MyHeritage takes all major credit cards.
5. Best Alternatives to MyHeritage (Compare to AncestryDNA and 23andMe!)
MyHeritage faces most of its competition from the two slightly larger DNA testing companies: Ancestry and 23andMe. LivingDNA is also a contender, though they have not maintained the growth and user ratings of other companies. While MyHeritage is a great choice for most users, these other companies do offer some advantages:
If you want to access the largest genetic genealogy user base, AncestryDNA is the one you want. Being part of the largest genetic database comes with some inherent advantages. First, you will have the potential to match with the highest number of other DNA users. This should allow you to find living relatives from all over the world! Second, ethnicity estimates become more refined with bigger reference populations. For that reason, Ancestry is able to offer ethnicity estimates with a very narrow focus.
Beyond these two inherent advantages, the only real differences between MyHeritage and Ancestry is the location of the two companies and the ability to get a Health kit. While MyHeritage recently discontinued their health reports, Ancestry is continuing to expand the number of health-related traits they can test for. As for location, this is a real difference between these companies. Ancestry operates the world’s largest repository for historical documents from the United States, while MyHeritage has a huge lead in historical documents from Europe.
While Ancestry does not accept raw DNA data uploads from MyHeritage, MyHeritage does accept data from Ancestry. So, if you are thinking about trying them both you can save some money and avoid a second DNA test kit if you start with Ancestry.
If you want access to the most comprehensive health analysis, 23andMe has been focusing on more DNA health testing and can provide more reports. MyHeritage recently stopped offering any health related tests to focus more on their Ancestry division. So, if you want health traits it really comes down to a choice between 23andMe and Ancestry.
As for ancestry-related testing, 23andMe has a much larger database than MyHeritage. This gives them an inherent advantage when it comes to predicting ethnic groups and estimating your overall ethnicity. Further, 23andMe tests parts of your Y-DNA and your mtDNA, which can give you specific insights into your paternal and maternal haplogroups.
However, 23andMe does not offer any sort of historical records database that you can search through, or a meaningful way to construct a family tree (though they will construct one for you based on your DNA). All things considered, if you are only mildly interested in ancestry and want super-specific results, 23andMe is the way to go. On the other hand, if you are interested in building out a family tree and finding actual written records from European countries to back it up, MyHeritage is probably better.
6. Upload Raw DNA Data From MyHeritageDNA
Although the site does not test for health and lifestyle traits, it does let you download your raw DNA data file. This will allow you to upload your data to a number of other sites, many of which are free. The sites below can inform you on many other aspects of your DNA. One cheek swab can get you so much more!
1. Genomelink — FREE
2. Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) — FREE
3. GEDmatch — FREE
To find out more DNA upload sites, check out our article "The Best DNA Upload Sites"
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