How well do and 23andMe data match?

Wondering whether to go with an or 23 and me kit? I recently picked up an AncestryDNA kit to find out how well the data matched up to the 23andMe test that I did a few years ago.

Quick answer: It matched up better than I expected.

First, a couple of caveats:  
I'm not a genealogy expert and was not comparing the two tests as far as the accuracy of determining my ancestry.  I'm also not a statistician, so the mathematical comparisons of the raw data files are just the basics.

Taking the test:
Both companies are fairly similar in the simplicity of getting the testing done.  You order the kit — either through the company websites or other online vendors— and it comes in the mail.  The box contains a vial to spit into, instructions on how to register the kit, and a small pre-paid shipping box to mail the vial back to the company.

Both 23andMe and advertise that it takes 4 - 6 weeks to get the test results back after they receive your vial of spit.  It was faster than advertised (about 2 weeks for AncestryDNA) when I did the tests, but I think the times can vary depending on how busy the lab is when you send in your test.

The privacy policies:
Privacy policies: Privacy Policy, AncestryDNA Privacy Policy  Read the terms of service and the full privacy policy.  Make sure you understand and are ok with them before you order your kit.

Once you have taken the test, you also have the option of answering research survey questions on 23andMe and on  Be sure that you understand that you are giving your survey information to the companies to use for their own purposes.

Downloading the raw data:
Both companies allow you to download and keep your raw data file.  I highly recommend that you do so as soon as you get the results.  The information is yours, and you should keep it safe.
Here are directions on how to download the raw data:
Download your genetic data from
Download your genetic data from AncestryDNA

Both companies also have a clearly stated way to delete your data from their records if you choose to close your account with them. Here are the directions:  Deleting your 23andMe account; for AncestryDNA, there is a button to delete data right under the download link on your settings page.


Oh, no!  You've reached the end of the Free Preview of this Member's Only Article.

Love what you're reading? Join as a Genetic Lifehacks member for full access to this article and more!

Benefits include:

  • being able to view your genetic data right in the articles ~no more looking up rs ids!~
  • topic overview reports that visually show you which articles are relevant to your genes.
  • awesome articles explaining your genes, lifehacks (solutions!) relevant to you, and the scientific research behind them.
  • ad-free experience, no tracking and privacy is the no. 1 priority!

Click here to learn more and subscribe today!

Already a member? Please log in below to read the rest of the article and view the lifehacks.