We are often asked, "Which DNA testing company should I test with?" That depends. If information on the direct paternal or maternal line is being sought, then FamilyTreeDNA is the only company that provides those tests. Otherwise, the autosomal DNA (atDNA) test is available from several companies including Ancestry.com, FamilyTree DNA, My Heritage and new to the market, LivingDNA.
But what is the BEST? It would be hard to say but we want our DNA to be "seen" by as many people as possible in order to find those ancestral connections. We want to be in as many "gene pools" as possible. So how do you accomplish this? Take an Ancestry.com DNA test.
Ancestry.com has some of the best sales and, right now, has the largest database. However, the other testing companies, except for 23andMe, allow the DNA raw data to be downloaded from Ancestry.com and uploaded, for free at the time of this writing, to FamilyTree DNA, MyHeritage and LivingDNA. As of this writing, LivingDNA has not yet established access to the matches in the LivingDNA databases, but access is coming. It is also not known if that access will cost.
Here's the best news. The raw DNA data from Ancestry.com can be downloaded and then uploaded FOR FREE at this time, to FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage and LivingDNA. That's an additional three (3) gene pools your data can swim around in. AND, you can also upload to GEDmatch, which is a third party tool open to all raw DNA data.
Your wondering how? Thomas MacEntee has created a handout which explains how to download your raw data from each testing company and how to upload that data to the three companies that accept raw DNA data. He has given us permission to post his handout on our blog.
Downloading and Uploading Your DNA Test Data by Thomas MacEntee