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If 2023 has done anything, it has made the average person much more familiar with video conferencing programs. Google Meet and Zoom have seen a lot of use this year, but there is no clear consensus on which program is the better option.Features and Details
Zoom and Google Meet serve the same basic function, but Zoom is a comprehensive and fully-featured platform. Google Meet has simplified features that make it useful for basic functions. This difference becomes even more clear when you look beyond the free versions of each program into the paid tiers.
Table of ContentsPricing
Both Google Meet and Zoom are free to use, with optional paid tiers for users that need more features and functionality.
Google Meet has two paid options: Google Workplace Essentials and Google Workspace Enterprise. Google Workspace Essentials is priced at $8 per month, while Google Workspace Enterprise is priced on a case-by-case basis—and honestly isn’t something the average user is ever going to need.
Zoom has four price tiers outside its free plan: Pro, Business, Zoom United Business, and Enterprise. These plans are billed annually, with Zoom Pro starting at $149.90 per year, Zoom Business at $199.90 per year, Zoom United Business at $300 per year, and Zoom Enterprise starting at $199.90 per year.Participants
The free versions of Google Meet and Zoom allow users to host meetings of up to 100 participants each. The paid versions of each program increase the number of participants in each meeting.
Zoom Pro still allows only 100 participants, but Zoom Business increases the count to 300. Zoom Enterprise allows 500 participants, and Zoom Enterprise+ allows up to 1,000.
On the other hand, Google Workspace Essentials allows up to 150 participants, while Google Workspace Enterprise allows up to 250. Google does not have an option that allows a huge number of participants in the same way that Zoom does.Meeting Length
Zoom is well-known for its 40-minute meetings. They’ve become something of a punchline over the span of the year, but 40 minutes is all the free plan allows. However, the paid versions of Zoom extend the meeting length by quite a bit.
Zoom Pro allows meetings to go for up to 30 hours. This is the maximum amount of time Zoom allows, regardless of tier.
Google Meet allows meetings to last for up to an hour on its free plan, and up to 300 hours maximum if you opt for the paid version. On a price-to-length basis, Google Meet is the better value. Meetings can last up to 10 times longer on Google Meet than on Zoom, although it is debatable whether anyone needs a 300 hour long meeting.
It’s also worth noting that both Zoom and Google Meet allow for an unlimited number of meetings, even on the free plan. This means you can host meeting after meeting if you don’t want to pay, so you can extend your meeting length for as long as you need.Recording
The free Zoom plan allows users to record meetings to their hard drives, while the premium tiers allow users to save locally or up to 1GB to the cloud. Zoom Enterprise provides unlimited cloud storage.
Google Meet doesn’t allow local recording on its free plan, but Google Workspace Essentials does allow users to save recordings to Google Drive.Other Features
Zoom was built as a dedicated video conferencing platform, while Google Meet is part of a larger suite of services. As a result, Zoom has a more comprehensive set of features than Google Meet does.
Zoom allows users to integrate with other services, including Skype for Business, Facebook Workplace, and Salesforce. It also integrates with Google services like Google Calendar and Google Drive. On the other hand, Google Meet integrates with all Google services and a few others like Skype for Business.
Zoom users can conduct polls, collaborate on a virtual whiteboard, and more. All of these features make it the objectively more powerful platform, but not necessarily the best choice.Security
One area that has to be addressed is the security of the two platforms. Zoom came under scrutiny throughout the year for security breaches, such as trolls making their way into meetings and causing massive disruptions.
Since that time, Zoom has implemented several security features to make the platform safer, such as 256-bit TLS encryption, end-to-end encryption, and more. You can also set it up so that users can only join if they have an email from a specific domain.
Google Meet also has a number of built-in security protocols. All of these are active by default, and there are also server-side protections that are difficult to bypass. Google Meet allows for 2-step verification for users joining meetings.Google Meet vs Zoom: Which is Better?
Both video conferencing platforms excel in certain areas. If you are in search of a dedicated, fully-featured video conferencing service with every bell and whistle you can think of, Zoom is the best choice. Its suite of features, customer support team, and expanded platform make it a phenomenal choice for businesses.
While Google Meet may have less features, it is easier to set up. You do not need a dedicated account. Users can join Google Meet calls with a standard Google account, which enables meetings to get started faster with less set-up involved.
From an objective standpoint, Zoom is the better option. It works, and it works well—and 2023 has seen the platform expand in major ways. However, not everyone needs all of the features that Zoom offers. If you are working on a minor project with friends, or you are a student in search of a way to remotely meet with your classmates, Google Meet can get the job done with less hassle.
You're reading Google Meet Vs Zoom: Which Is Better For You?
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Remote work has become more common than ever. In addition, office desk jockeys often need video calling to contact co-workers and clients from afar. Many of you are probably debating whether you should go for Zoom vs Microsoft Teams, as they are among the most popular video calling apps for professionals. Let’s compare them and help you figure out which best suits your needs.
More: The best work from home apps, gadgets, and tools
Here: How to use Whiteboard in Zoom Meetings
3. Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: No account, no problem!
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Both services can generate a unique link that can be shared with others to enter a video call. Meeting organizers can invite anyone, whether they’re Zoom or Microsoft Teams users. Once in the call, users can enjoy the complete set of features both services offer. This might be helpful if your co-workers don’t want to sign up for either.
Also read: 10 Zoom Meetings tips and tricks you should know about
5. Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: Compatibility
Lucky for you, both Zoom and Microsoft Teams have excellent compatibility. Both can be used on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and even a web browser. As mentioned in the previous section, calling in via phone is possible. You have no excuses for missing that meeting!
6. Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: Security
Zoom uses end-to-end encryption, which means data is encrypted in your device, then sent privately and deciphered only when it reaches its destination. This is more secure than Microsoft’s in-transit and at-rest encryption, but Zoom has been in the spotlight for privacy concerns in the past. Despite privacy updates, improving encryption, adding the ability to disable personal meeting IDs, and fighting Zoombombing, the company couldn’t catch a break with over 500,000 stolen accounts sold online. Zoom had a rough 2023, but things are more stable now.
Microsoft Office integration could single-handedly win the battle between Teams and Zoom.
On the other hand, Microsoft Teams beats Zoom in many areas, mainly because it offers a complete solution for your team’s organization, chatting needs, file transfers, and more. Think of it more as a hub instead of a video calling service. Not to mention Office integration, which could single-handedly win the battle between Teams and Zoom. Especially if your company is well invested in Microsoft’s apps… and many are. Just be ready to pay a pretty penny, especially for larger teams.
Which is best for large businesses?
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Zoom might be the better bet if you have a more serious large company that requires enhanced planning. After all, there are free alternatives to Microsoft Office apps, such as Google Drive. And if you have a lot of employees, Microsoft Teams’ per-user fee will add up. Only one user needs a paid account to host up to 1,000 viewers on Zoom.Which is best for teachers?
Teachers need to save cash, and it doesn’t make sense to create (and pay for) accounts for every student. The choice is more obvious, and Zoom will likely be the best alternative. That is unless the class needs Microsoft’s apps. Or you could opt for the free Microsoft Teams alternative, but Zoom still has more features that better apply to the classroom. These include whiteboarding, hand-raising, collaboration tools, and more.
It depends on your needs. Zoom paid plans start at $14.99 a month. Microsoft Teams pricing starts at $4 a month. There’s a huge difference in the pricing structure, though, as Microsoft Teams plans are per user. In the case of Zoom, only the host needs to pay.
Microsoft Teams plans include Office apps if you pay for the Microsoft 365 plans. These include applications like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and many others.
Microsoft Teams seems to have the best free plan. It has a longer time limit of 60 minutes instead of 40 minutes. Otherwise, both offerings are very similar.
Zoom can handle as many as 1,000 participants. Microsoft Teams can handle as many as 10,000 view-only participants. The regular limit is 300 for both services.
Are you still not convinced with Zoom or Microsoft Teams? There are a few other great options to consider. Check out some more of our comparisons against Google Meet, Hangouts, Facetime, GoToMeeting, and others.
With much of the country under shelter-in-place orders, many businesses have mandated their employees work from home. This has suddenly made videoconferencing apps essential. Indeed, Skype and Zoom, the two most recognized names in this category, have seen their usage numbers spike.What is Skype?
Skype is Microsoft’s telecommunications tool that allows multiple people to remotely interact in real time. Initially, the app was designed to make voice calls over the internet. While that’s still its core capability, it has evolved to include video calls and instant messaging as well. The app is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, Xbox, and Amazon Alexa devices.
Skype supports up to 50 people per video or audio call.What is Zoom?
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing tool. Created with large companies in mind, it enables users to host and record meetings, participate in group chats, and collaborate as if they were in the same office. The app works with Windows, Mac, Android and iOS operating systems.Skype vs. Zoom: Features
While both Skype and Zoom allow you to hold video meetings and record them for later review, they differ significantly in scale. Skype can support up to 50 participants on a single video conference (the same limit applies to voice calls). Zoom can accommodate up to 1,000 video participants and 49 on-screen videos.
Zoom supports hundreds of participants per meeting
Once you look beyond videoconferencing, the two tools’ basic feature sets compare pretty favorably. Both support screen sharing, whiteboarding, and the sharing of documents and other files—all essential for getting work done. Zoom, however, has some business-ready capabilities Skype lacks, such as breakout sessions, the ability to generate meeting transcripts, webinar hosting, and a robust set of meeting analytics and reporting tools.Skype vs. Zoom: App integrations Skype vs. Zoom: Privacy
Both Zoom and Skype use end-to-end encryption to secure communications. However, some of Zoom’s basic functionality has been called into questions for its privacy vulnerabilities.
You can share and annotate documents in Zoom.
Skype is free to use for any Skype-to-Skype communications. That includes video conferencing, chat, and voice calls over the internet. If you want to call someone’s cell phone or landline, you’ll need to purchase either Skype Credit or a subscription. Credit is offered in a minute-based tier: $5 gets you up to 165 minutes, $10 up to 330 minutes and $25 up to 830 minutes. Monthly subscriptions provide unlimited minutes and are based on the geographic region you want to call. A U.S.-only plan costs $3 a month, a U.S. and Canada plan is $4 a month, a North America plan costs $7 a month, and a World plan is $14 a month.Bottom line
Both tools make remote communication easier, but there are some things to consider before choosing one over the other. Skype is undoubtedly the more user friendly of the two apps, largely because of its long history as a consumer app. Simply, more people already know how to use it. However, its 50-participant limit makes it best suited to small businesses and teams. Zoom is the clear choice for enterprise-size companies thanks to its high-participant support and deep business features.
Due to this growing requirement for display quality, the older and relatively low signal-quality VGA interface is now on the verge of extinction. It has now been almost completely replaced by the superior HDMI interface.
Nevertheless, there are still devices and display unit that consists of the VGA. And it still has its significance in a few areas. So, how exactly does the VGA vary from the HDMI interface? And which one should you choose? Let’s find out.
VGA, or the Video Graphics Array, is one of the oldest display connections developed by IBM, which came to use in the late 80s IBM computer. It transmits the video signal in analog form. This display controller has been the common type of interface to transmit video signals to the monitor, and almost every display device incorporates one.
The VGA connector consists of a bulky design with 15 pins divided into three rows. It works by transmitting the Red, Blue, and Green video signals along with Vertical and Horizontal sync information. In the later upgrades, it also consisted of VESA signals to identify the type of display units as well.
VGA has received several upgrades from different manufacturers with improvements in maximum resolution support for monitors and signal quality. These are named VGA, SVGA, XGA, SXGA, UXGA, QXGA, etc.
Slightly less input lag
Useful to get a display from older computers
Low bandwidth, image quality, and resolution
Inconvenient due to bulky design
No audio transmission
Signal interference or cross-talk
HDMI, or High-Definition Multimedia Interface, was the first display controller to transfer both digital visual and audio signals using a single cable. Released in 2002, the HDMI interface has now become a norm in almost all monitors, gaming consoles, and other display units.
The commonly used Type-A HDMI, among the five types, consists of 19 pins. These pins are responsible for transmitting the audio, video, and pixel clock data after being inserted into an HDMI port. It works as per the principle of Transition Minimized Differential Signaling, or TMDS, which divides the video signal into pixels and uses links to transmit the RGB color and the divided pixels as a pixel clock.
HDMI has also received several upgrades after HDMI 1.0, with 2.1 being the recent one, with superb bandwidth and support for the highest refresh rate and resolution.
High bandwidth, resolution, and refresh rate
Better video quality and zero or less interference
Both audio and video transmission
Convenient and easy insertion
Available in almost all modern systems
Longer cable length
Cannot be used directly to get display from older systems
Comparatively more input lag
The major difference between the VGA and HDMI interfaces is in their image quality, with HDMI being the better one.
Similarly, HDMI is hot-pluggable, meaning you can insert or remove it while the system’s running, and you won’t experience any disturbance in the signal. However, the image quality will degrade, or the display may not even show up if you try hot-plugging the VGA connector.
Besides these, let’s discuss what features and functionality separate these two interfaces.
VGA connection can transfer the video signal data at the rate of 14 to 116 MegaHertz. This bandwidth varies for different versions, with VGA having the lowest transfer rate and UXGA the highest.
As per the bandwidth, the standard VGA version supports a display resolution of up to 640 x 480. While the QXGA version can provide a maximum resolution of 2048 x 1536. Similarly, the standard VGA interface can attain a refresh rate of up to only 60 Hz.
Nevertheless, for the upgraded VGA versions, one can obtain a slightly higher refresh rate of up to 85 Hz for a lower-resolution display.
VGA VersionsBandwidthResolution and Refresh RateVGA14 MHz640 x 480 @ 60, 75, 85 HzSVGA27 MHz800 x 600 @ 56, 60, 72, 75, 85 HzXGA48 MHz1024 x 768 @ 60, 70, 75, 85 HzSXGA60 MHz1280 x 1024 @ 70, 75, 85 HzSXGA +79 MHz1400 x 1050 @ 70, 75, 85 HzUXGA87 MHz1600 x 1200 @ 60 HzQXGA116 MHz2048 x 1536 @ 60 Hz
Looking at the HDMI interface, the commonly available HDMI 2.0 can transfer the signal at up to 18 Gbps, while HDMI 2.1 have a transmission rate of whooping 48 Gbps. It even surpasses the faster DisplayPort 1.4.
Not only this, you can achieve a maximum resolution of 8K and a refresh rate of 240 Hz for 1080p resolution. Let’s have a quick look at the bandwidth, resolution, and refresh rate for the two interfaces.
HDMI VersionsBandwidthResolution and Refresh Rate1.0 – 1.2a4.95 Gbps1080p @ 60 Hz1.3 – 1.4b10.2 Gbps4K @ 30 Hz or1080p @ 144 Hz2.0 – 2.0b18 Gbps4K @ 60 Hz or1080p @ 240 Hz2.148 Gbps8K @ 30 Hz or4K @ 144 Hz
Input lag is the time elapsed between the reception of a signal and its appearance on the screen. In the case of the HDMI interface, the digital signals are post-processed in terms of color and other effects for better image quality. But the analog signals from VGA are shown as they are received. This post-processing can cause a slight input lag in HDMI.
However, the lag is not that significant. It is in a few milliseconds, and you would not even find any differences. To add to this, when you use a VGA connection in a digital display unit, the analog VGA signals also take a while to get converted into digital signals. Thus, the VGA interface also seems to have input lag.
Also, the input lag mostly depends upon the monitor and display unit rather than the connection type. So, if we look at the imperceptible time of lag, Input lag and latency do not make much of a difference.
Talking about signal quality, the VGA interface experiences a lot of signal interference from other system components. This is because the VGA carries the information in the analog signal, and these pick up noise from other cables and electrical parts of the computer.
In the past, most of electronic devices used a VGA interface. So, to lower the interference, the VGA cable is provided with a cylindrical extrusion. Similarly, the I/O Shield at the back of the motherboard also prevents signal interference from internal components and other cables of the PC.
HDMI interface is able to transfer both audio and video from the same cable and port. It even supports up to 32 channels of audio signals and HD Audio, such as DTS and Dolby.
However, VGA is able to transmit only the video signal. You will need an additional audio cable and port on the system to share the sound. Even after using a VGA to HDMI converter, you will have to get an additional audio cable to get the sound signals.
VGA cables can transmit image and video signals in their original quality within a distance of 25 feet. Beyond that, the signal quality starts to degrade. However, there are VGA cables longer than 150 feet in the market though you won’t get better quality.
But the recommended length of an HDMI cable is up to around 50 feet or 15 meters, up to which you won’t experience any quality degradation. The digital signals in the case of HDMI do not get lost a lot in comparison to the VGA analog signals.
The higher quality signals, refresh rate support from the HDMI and its longer cable length make it the ideal choice for display at a farther distance.
VGA interfaces are mostly compatible and found in older displays and gaming consoles. You may not find an HDMI port in those systems. So, if you possess such hardware, then you may want to use the VGA, and the HDMI cables might be useless. In addition to those systems, the projectors still use the VGA interface.
Similarly, you can find HDMI in modern displays, consoles, TV, and other electronics. Almost all display and audio-needing devices are HDMI-friendly nowadays. Yes, some of these systems still provide one VGA port, but the transition is getting faster due to the excellent signal quality of HDMI. So, VGA cables have become pretty much obsolete at the present time.
So, while HDMI is almost used in every display unit, VGA is mostly employed for a multi-monitor setup, screen projection, etc.
Having said that, there are converter cables available in the market, such as VGA to HDMI and HDMI to VGA. You can use these to use a VGA cable on an HDMI port and vice versa.
Being a bulky design, the VGA connector needs to be locked into the port with two pins on its side. Without the lock, the connector gets loosened easily, hence, distorting the image quality and color. Sometimes, the display will not even come up on the screen. This makes the VGA quite inconvenient as you need to make sure of a tight connection behind both the monitor and the system.
However, the HDMI does not require such pins to tighten it. You can simply insert the connector to the monitor and the motherboard or GPU, and it does not easily come off as well. There is a chance of a loose connection, but it is quite unusual. And you do not have to worry about having the video signal disturbed.
Being the oldest type of display interface, VGA cables are quite cheap and easily available in the market. HDMI cables are quite costlier than VGA. The cost of the new HDMI 2.1 cable, with its fastest bandwidth, is incomparable with the old and slow VGA cable.
But nowadays, you can find a cheaper HDMI cable of an earlier version in the market. And they do a fine job in comparison to the VGA cables.
Besides both being a display controller and interface for video signal transfer, there are not many similarities between VGA and HDMI.
VGAHDMIMuch less bandwidth.Higher bandwidth.Supports low resolution and refresh rate.Supports higher resolution and refresh chúng tôi transmit only video chúng tôi transmit both audio and video signals.Relatively less input lag.Slightly more input chúng tôi level of signal interference and electromagnetic chúng tôi electromagnetic interference and no signal cross-talk.Bulky in design and inconvenient to connect due to the need for tightening chúng tôi pins to tighten and can connect conveniently.Shorter cable length.Longer cable length.Suitable for old computer systems and projectors.Suitable for modern systems.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) offers effective protection from malware, ad tracking, hackers, spies, and censorship. But that privacy and security will cost you an ongoing subscription.
There are quite a few options out there (TORGuard and NordVPN seem to be quite popular), each with varying costs, features, and interfaces. Before making a decision about which VPN you should go for, take the time to consider your options and weigh up which will best suit you in the long term.
How They Compare
A VPN can stop unwanted attention by making you anonymous. It trades your IP address for that of the server you connect to, and that can be anywhere in the world. You effectively hide your identity behind the network and become untraceable. At least in theory.
What’s the problem? Your activity isn’t hidden from your VPN provider. So you need to choose someone you can trust: a provider that cares as much about your privacy as you do.
Both NordVPN and TorGuard have excellent privacy policies and a “no logs” policy. That means they don’t log the sites you visit at all and only log your connections enough to run their businesses. TorGuard claims to keep no logs at all, but I think it’s likely they keep some temporary logs of your connections to enforce their five-device limit.
Both companies keep as little personal information about you as possible and allow you to pay by Bitcoin so even your financial transactions won’t lead back to you. TorGuard also allows you to pay via CoinPayment and gift cards.
Winner: Tie. Both services store as little private information about you as possible, and don’t keep logs of your online activity. Both have a large number of servers around the world that help make you anonymous when online.
When you use a public wireless network, your connection is insecure. Anyone on the same network can use packet sniffing software to intercept and log the data sent between you and the router. They could also redirect you to fake sites where they can steal your passwords and accounts.
VPNs defend against this type of attack by creating a secure, encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN server. The hacker can still log your traffic, but because it’s strongly encrypted, it’s totally useless to them. Both services allow you to choose the security protocol used.
If you unexpectedly become disconnected from your VPN, your traffic is no longer encrypted and is vulnerable. To protect you from this happening, both apps provide a kill switch to block all internet traffic until your VPN is active again.
TorGuard is also able to automatically close certain apps once the VPN disconnects.
For additional security, Nord offers Double VPN, where your traffic will pass through two servers, getting twice the encryption for double the security. But this comes at an even greater expense of performance.
TorGuard has a similar feature called Stealth Proxy:
TorGuard has now added a new Stealth Proxy feature inside the TorGuard VPN app. Stealth Proxy works as a “second” layer of security that connects your standard VPN connection through an encrypted proxy layer. When enabled, this feature hides the “handshake”, making it impossible for the DPI censors to determine if OpenVPN is being used. With TorGuard Stealth VPN/Proxy, it is virtually impossible for your VPN to be blocked by a firewall, or even detected.
Winner: Tie. Both apps offer encryption, a kill switch, and an optional second layer of security. Nord also provides a malware blocker.
3. Streaming Services
Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other streaming services use the geographic location of your IP address to decide which shows you can and can’t watch. Because a VPN can make it appear that you’re in a country you’re not, they now block VPNs as well. Or they try to.
In my experience, VPNs have wildly varying success in successfully streaming from streaming services. These two services use completely different strategies to give you the best chance of watching your shows without frustration.
Nord has a feature called SmartPlay, which is designed to give you effortless access to 400 streaming services. It seems to work. When I tried nine different Nord servers around the world, each one connected to Netflix successfully. It’s the only service I tried that achieved a 100% success rate, though I can’t guarantee you’ll always achieve it.
TorGuard uses a different strategy: Dedicated IP. For an additional ongoing cost, you can purchase an IP address that only you have, which almost guarantees you’ll never be detected as using a VPN.
Before I purchased a dedicated IP, I attempted to access Netflix from 16 different TorGuard servers. I was only successful with three. I then purchased a US Streaming IP for $7.99 per month and could access Netflix every time I tried.
But be aware that you’ll have to contact TorGuard’s support and request them to set up the dedicated IP for you. In most cases, it doesn’t happen automatically.
Winner: Tie. When using NordVPN, I could successfully access Netflix from every server I tried. With TorGuard, purchasing a dedicated streaming IP address virtually guarantees that all streaming services will be accessible, but this is an additional cost on top of the normal subscription price.
4. User Interface
Many VPNs offer a simple switch interface to make it easy for beginners to connect and disconnect the VPN. Neither Nord nor IPVanish takes this approach.
The list of servers can be sorted and filtered in various ways.
Winner: Personal preference. Neither interface is ideal for beginners. NordVPN is aimed at intermediate users, but beginners won’t find it hard to pick up. TorGuard’s interface is suitable for those with more experience using VPNs.
Both services are quite fast, but I give the edge to Nord. The fastest Nord server I encountered had a download bandwidth of 70.22 Mbps, only a little below my normal (unprotected) speed. But I found that server speeds varied considerably, and the average speed was just 22.75 Mbps. So you may have to try a few servers before you find one you’re happy with.
TorGuard’s download speeds were faster than NordVPN on average (27.57 Mbps). But the fastest server I could find could download at only 41.27 Mbps, which is fast enough for most purposes, but significantly slower than Nord’s fastest.
But they’re my experiences testing the services from Australia, and you’re likely to get different results from other parts of the world. If a fast download speed is important to you, I recommend trying both services and running your own speed tests.
Winner: NordVPN. Both services have acceptable download speeds for most purposes, and I found TorGuard a little faster on average. But I was able to find significantly faster servers with Nord.
6. Pricing & Value
The Final Verdict
Tech-savvy networking geeks will be well-served by TorGuard. The app places all the settings at your fingertips so you can more easily customize your VPN experience, balancing speed with security. The service’s basic price is quite affordable, and you get to choose which optional extras you’re willing to pay for.
For everyone else, I recommend NordVPN. Its three-year subscription price is one of the cheapest rates on the market—the second and third years are surprisingly inexpensive. The service offers the best Netflix connectivity of any VPN I tested (read the full review here), and some very fast servers (though you may have to try a few before you find one). I highly recommend it.
AncestryDNA and 23andMe are the world’s most popular DNA tests. Combined, the companies have tested the DNA of more than 15 million people, according to the International Society of Genetic Geneology .
You can read our full reviews of AncestryDNA and 23andMe , but below we break down the primary differences between the two kits.
For one, AncestryDNA only tests your autosomal DNA, while 23andMe tests your autosomal DNA, your mtDNA, and your yDNA (if you’re male).
Autosomal tests are the most common DNA tests. They look at DNA inherited from both sides of your family and compare it to other samples to determine your ethnicity. Autosomal DNA tests also reveal family relations up to seven generations—or 210 years—with up to 95 percent accuracy.
Your 23 pairs of chromosomes.
On the other hand, mtDNA comes from your mother and yDNA from your father—however, only men can have their yDNA tested. These types of DNA reveal the lineage, known as a haplogroup, that you descend from on your mother’s or father’s side. 23andMe uses this information to tell you about your ancestors tens of thousands of years ago and their migration patterns.They give different results
Because of the aforementioned different kinds of DNA the tests examine, the results you get also differ. AncestryDNA just provides an ethnic breakdown of your DNA through an interactive map, while 23andMe does this and much more.
Here are all the Neanderthal traits 23andMe can identify.
Visualizations from 23andMe were also far more interesting. While AncestryDNA just provides you with a map, 23andMe goes above and beyond with unique offerings like Your Ancestry Timeline and Your Chromosome Painting. In short, you get a lot more with 23andMe.
23andMe’s fascinating ancestry timeline visualization.They represent a different number of ethnic regions
People of European descent also have a disproportionately high number of regions in both tests compared to other ethnic groups. Seventy-four percent of AncestryDNA’s regions are European compared to 23andMe’s 30 percent. Read our in-depth feature on why DNA tests are more detailed for white people to learn more. In short, it’s because most of their customers are of European descent.
The companies are regularly updating their ethnic breakdowns as new data come in, so expect more regions to appear with time.They have different-sized DNA matchmaking databases
A few members of my family came up in my DNA matches on AncestryDNA. (Identifying information has been blurred out.)
It should also be noted that the more people in a DNA database, the more accurate the test results become. More DNA data allows these companies to perfect the algorithms used in creating ethnicity estimates.Which one is right for me?
Like most things in life, it depends on what you want to get out of the experience. If you’re looking for genealogical information and want to find relatives, then AncestryDNA is the way to go, just by virtue of it having a much larger database.
The map of my ethnicity breakdown from AncestryDNA.
Both tests are regularly refining their data and algorithms to improve the results. Over time, you can expect to receive notifications when either service has improved its ethnicity estimate.
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