Family Tree DNA Review: Is FTDNA the Best DNA Test?

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DNA Strand: Family Tree DNA ReviewWhere we come from is one of life’s biggest mysteries, and genealogical research can fill in some of the blanks. Want to take your family tree research to the next level? You should consider doing a DNA ancestry test. DNA testing is a fun and informative way to discover more about your roots. Several online services offer DNA testing for ancestry, and, in our opinion, Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) is the best out there. See our Family Tree DNA review below to see why we chose them as our number one pick for best DNA test in our Best DNA Ancestry Test comparison, which also gives you more detailed information about what you can learn about your history from a simple DNA sample.

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Review Overview

DNA Tests Offered
Storage & Privacy Policy
Online Community
Customer Service


Family Tree DNA comes out on top for the tests they offer and an excellent online community. But, if you're planning to do all their all tests, it could get rather pricey.

Family Tree DNA Key Features

  • Only DNA ancestry test service that offers all three types of tests separately: Autosomal, mtDNA and Y-DNA testing
  • Test is a simple cheek swab that you mail in
  • Can transfer your genealogical, DNA results, and other data from similar services
  • Ability to store your results for up to 25 years (but you have to have an ongoing subscription to access their database)
  • Provides you email addresses of your DNA matches
  • Ability to join select genealogical/ancestry projects within their network



  • Competitive pricing and a variety of bundled packages
  • DNA genealogical projects you can join
  • DNA sample stored for 25 years
  • Privacy protection for your DNA test sample
  • You get email addresses of your genetic matches
  • Compare shared chromosomal segments through their chromosome browser tool
  • Upload your raw DNA results from Ancestry DNA, 23andMe and Geno 2.0
  • Excellent online community and customer service
  • Biogeographical ancestry analysis provided
  • Smaller database than some similar services (877,000+ people)


  • $89 Family Finder Autosomnal DNA Kit
  • $79 mtDNA Plus DNA Kit
  • $199 mtDNA Full Sequence Kit
  • $169 Y37 Markers
  • $268 Y67 Markers
  • $359 Y111 Markers
  • $12.95 Shipping

Coupon Code

Family Tree DNA often has time-sensitive coupons!

Are Customers Happy With FamilyTreeDNA?

As part of our in-depth reviews we scour the web for consumer feedback about each company we review. Below you’ll see a sampling of both positive and negative reviews we found about FTDNA.

Positive Family Tree DNA Reviews

After careful consideration, our organization chose FTDNA because they are the only direct to consumer DNA testing company that ships to almost every country overseas. The team at FTDNA has been extremely supportive of our project. – Bee D., Yelp 5/5/2016

I’ve taken AncestryDNA and 23andMe tests too and would like to share that Family Tree DNA definitely has the best support. The FTDNA community are very quick at answering questions, many of which already have answers on their forum. When you buy a FTDNA test, you’re buying into a vast community of genetic genealogists 🙂 – Anonymous, DNA Testing Choice 3/18/16

Negative Family Tree DNA Reviews

I often receive an e-mail saying that FTDNA has found a new “match” for me. I go to my site and there are NO new matches. I e-mailed them asking them why I keep getting these alerts when there is nothing new to view. They return my e-mails with an abrupt note that says: CASE CLOSED WITHOUT RESPONSE. Really bad customer service. – Robert R., BBB 9/11/2015

Unless you are an amateur geneticist with a lot of time and disposable income, FTDNA is a huge waste of money. Your results will never be back on time, you will not be contacted by anyone about this, and when they do come in, there’s a good chance the number of people in your surname project will be either too small to or too incredibly large to have any meaningful matches. – David M., Yelp 6/2/2015

Want to Dig Deep Into Your Ancestry?

Check out FTDNA’s video below that explains what a DNA ancestry test can tell you about your heritage.

You’re Not Alone on Your Journey

DNA ancestry testing, and genealogical research in general, are an increasingly popular pastime. In 2013, more than 2.5 million people around the world had paid for a consumer genetic test, according to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy. With more and more people testing their DNA and getting online to find common ancestors, your chances of filling in even more blanks are promising. FTDNA is an excellent way to start or continue your ancestry journey. Not sold on Family Tree DNA? Check out our review of all the major players in our DNA ancesty test kit reviews.

What have you discovered about your family history and genealogy through Family Tree DNA?

An international traveler since she was under 10 years old, Sally loves exploring the world’s mysteries first hand. Her favorite destinations? Greece and the British Virgin Islands. She grew up learning to question, explore, and discover new things and ideas — it’s probably why she went into journalism as a career! She loves what the Internet has brought to research and exploration, but she still hits the ground to travel whenever she gets the chance.

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5 Comments on "Family Tree DNA Review: Is FTDNA the Best DNA Test?"

LA food lover
LA food lover
STAY AWAY from Family Tree DNA if you’d purchasing a test as a gift. They are notoriously unreliable regarding when they will actually mail you your results. I was guaranteed by their company that our family would have the results back by Christmas. It’s now Christmas Eve and I discovered we may not have the results back by February.
Did you receive your results ? Your experience may be negative but most people told me they had their results on time, it takes generally 4 weeks for Family Finder and sometimes less than that.
anonymous user
anonymous user
My new boyfriend has a son with his ex-wife who we think is not related to him so we’re doing one of these tests to find out!
Did you find out?
Joann Cangialosi Locascio
Joann Cangialosi Locascio
Sally, thank you for this great article.

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