What a shame you just missed this deal.
June, this is a popular question and you might get many different personal opinions, so I'll give you mine. I think Family Tree DNA is the best choice.
In addition to the test itself, you are buying access to the company's other customers for comparison purposes. Family Tree DNA has the largest customer base, which makes them the best choice, which means they'll get more customers. A nice cycle for them ;)
It could happen that one of their competitors, say Ancestry.com with its huge user base, or 23andme with its health information, or even National Geographic with its new Geno 2.0, could beat them out of the game. So, no guarantees about the future.
Family Tree DNA works internationally, except in certain countries (France, for example) where genetic testing must be performed under medical supervision.
My opinion is men should go with FTDNA and women with 23andme. The reason being, FTDNA allows for more in-depth testing with male Y-DNA. The FTDNA deepclade testing will be fazed out by the Geno 2.0 test, so if you want to discover your ancient past, I would recommend going with that right off the bat. Afterwards, you can upgrade to 37 STR markers (or better yet, 67 markers) with FTDNA and auDNA test to find cousins, if you so wish.
Women should test with 23andme, because not only do they test your female mtDNA, which provides little information compared to Y-DNA, they also test your auDNA and medical data, all in one, much nicer package than FTDNA. Also, if you ever want to take advantage of FTDNA's auDNA database, you can transfer your results.
That's my two cents.
Family Tree DNA is running their 72-Hour Summer Super Sale until Saturday, August 25, at 11:59PM.
New Customers Only - Family Finder + Y-DNA 12, normally $339, sale price $249.
New Customers Only - Family Finder + mtDNA, normally $339, sale price $249.
Orders need to be placed by the end of the sale and payment must be made by end of this sale.
The company I used was www.ancestrybydna.com
They had the wrong tests done, results were lost, samples were not collected and had to be re-done - and now I am not sure what I can do with their results. Can't transfer them to familytreedna. Still looking!!
Ysearch.org and mitosearch.org are run by FTDNA but anyone can add their results - as long as they are compatible.
For mtDNA only HVR-results can be added, not very useful unless you hve unusual results ...
I would not recommend 23andMe (for women or anyone) as Victar does, see in the Arvegods blog why mtDNA Full Sequence tests are the best :-)
If you take advantage of sales, Family Finder + mtDNA Full Sequence with FTDNA is not much more expensive than the 23-test - and you get a lot more about ancestry for the money as well as not having to deal with the health bit that I know many want to avoid.
U4-project at FTDNA with links to more info:
Anne, it's a balance, isn't it? I wouldn't pay money for the health testing at 23andme, but I don't see any reason to avoid it.
What I hear overwhelmingly from other users is that the health info is a nice bonus. (And, for me, it's saving $250/month in prescription drug costs because I know something I wouldn't otherwise have known.)
Of course, in some countries the data is embargoed because the law says medical information can only be obtained under a doctor's care. In the US we have more freedom.
Understood, Bentzion. But Anne's point was that she sees the health information as a negative side-effect of testing at 23andme, and therefore a reason to avoid testing with them. I'm pointing out that a lot of people don't see it as negative. My own position is neutral -- I would go out of my way to find it, and I don't see any reason to avoid it.
I find a lot of people who will not test if there is a health issue involved - but who are really curious about the migration history and genealogy bit.
For people who are primarily interested in genealogy and deep history I will always recommend FTDNA and not 23andMe (and like Justin I have tested both, extensively) - but of course this is a matter of personal preferences.
One example: if you are a Y-haplogroup R1a, at 23 you will learn just that and nothing more, at FTDNA you can join: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/R1a/default.aspx - and get SNPs tested to find out exactly which of the subclades you belong to. (Study the figures and the "results" page to learn more.)
Family Tree DNA currently has major sale on - Family Finder is only $99 - and they are suggesting if enough demand shown during this sale (sale is thru 7/26/2013) it might become permanent - so two reasons to rush out and take advantage -- 1) it's the best price yet (and you cannot count on it continuing at that great price!); 2) it increases the chances of continuing to see that great price. Other tests also on sale.
(Geni is still quoting a much higher price, so for now, buy directly thru FTDNA)
Susan Lynne Schwenger, on another thread you asked what is the best test.
I came across this new article today. I think this is a very good answer: