Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) tests trace both recent and distant generations. The number of generations traced by a Y-chromosome DNA test depends on the type of test taken, short tandem repeat (STR) or single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).
STR tests are able to trace a male lineage within genealogical times and into historic times. Your genealogical connections will be shown on the Y-DNA – Matches page of your myFTDNA account. The Y-DNA – Ancestral Origins page of your myFTDNA account will point towards possible countries of origin.
On the other hand, Y-DNA SNP tests (Family Finder tests) are able to trace both ancient anthropological migrations and more recent prehistoric movements. A Y-DNA SNP test also identifies the haplogroup, which represents your deep ancestral origins (tens of thousands of years ago).