DNA Painter | Should You Subscribe?

Diahan Southard

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DNA Painter is a third-party website that offers a multitude of tools for understanding your DNA test results. But should you subscribe? Read more about what you can do with DNA Painter and if you should subscribe.

I am often asked which DNA tools I use the most often.

My immediate answer is always the Shared Matches tool at every DNA testing company. It is indispensable in helping us create the necessary genetic groups to do our research effectively.

Beyond that, there is only one third-party DNA website that I use just about daily, and that is DNA Painter. We have talked about some of the tools made available by DNA Painter website creator Jonny Perl here on the blog before, and I link to them below. Tools such as WATO and the Shared cM Project are my go-to answers for so many DNA-related questions. I recently played around with the DNA Coverage Estimator tool, which inspired me to reach out to my dad’s cousins to ask them to test. I am currently working on a special chromosome map to help me think through another fun product idea I have for Your DNA Guide. 

Subscribe to DNA Painter for $10 off

As I said, I am on the DNA Painter website almost daily.

But should you be using DNA Painter, too? Should you subscribe to DNA Painter? This article links to a $10 off special subscription offer for new subscribers (including those who already have free accounts), which is nearly a 20% savings. I do receive a modest commission at no extra cost to you when you subscribe. I’m excited to be able to offer this unique discount. But please keep reading so you can figure out whether subscribing is a good option for you. 

DNA Painter: Use it for Free? Subscribe?

Let’s walk through some use-cases so you can see where you land:

Your question: What are the possible relationships I have with this DNA match? Or is the amount of DNA I am sharing with this match reasonable for the genealogy relationship I think we have?

DNA Painter tool you need: the Shared cM Project tool (you might want to read about the histograms, too)

Do I need a subscription to do what I want to do? Nope!


Your question: How can I keep track of the ancestors I have genetically verified?

DNA Painter tool you need: the Ancestral Tree tool

Do I need a subscription to do what I want to do? You get one tree for free, but if you want to create more trees for your spouse, neighbors or friends, or even yourself, you will want a subscription. 


Your question: Where do I fit on my DNA matches’ tree? (When you can see how they connect to each other, but not where you fit in)

DNA Painter tool you need: the What Are the Odds tool (WATO)

Do I need a subscription to do what I want to do? Nope.


Your question: How can I know how much of my ancestor’s DNA is represented in the current databases (through descendants who have tested)?

DNA Painter tool you need: the Coverage Estimator tool

Do I need a subscription to do what I want to do? Nope!


Your question: I want to visually see the pieces of DNA I have inherited from different ancestors.

DNA Painter tool you need: the Chromosome Map

Do I need a subscription to do what I want to do? Your first map is free, but again, if you want to create another, you will want a subscription. You will also find that a bulk upload of DNA segments into the Chromosome Map is an oft-used strategy. You will need a subscription for that as well.

As you can see, getting started with DNA Painter is always FREE, and for many of you, the free version will go a long way to helping you achieve your goals. 

However, I want to humbly suggest that while it is free for us to use these tools, it is never free to create and maintain them. Our money isn’t only meant to trade for things we need, but it can also be used to recognize and support things (and people!) we appreciate. Jonny is full-time committed to us and to our cause of making this business of using DNA to find our ancestors more intuitive. So whether or not you think you will need the subscription extras, if it is in your budget to support Jonny in his efforts, I think it would be a good use of your funds. 

Subscribe to DNA Painter for $10 off

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<a href="https://www.yourdnaguide.com/author/guideyourdnaguide-com" target="_self">Diahan Southard</a>

Diahan Southard

As founder and CEO of Your DNA Guide, Diahan Southard has been teaching people how to find family history answers in their DNA for several years, and she's been in the genetic genealogy field since its infancy. Diahan teaches internationally, writes for popular magazines, consults with leading testing companies, is author of Your DNA Guide–The Book, and producer of Your DNA Guide–the Academy, an online learning experience.


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