Modern DNA tests and their providers allow you to literally stay at home for the entire duration of the process, provided you don’t intend to use the results as proof in court proceedings or similar endeavors, of course. That’s why we compiled this “bullet-proof” guide on the best at home DNA tests of 2017.
The protocol is initiated by ordering your personal test kit and sending it back with a viable DNA sample (saliva or buccal cells); once the results are in, you can simply inspect them online and start connecting with relatives you didn’t even know existed.
After an extensive research, our highly-skilled team of professional assembled the following list of the best at home DNA tests of 2017:
- AncestryDNA database contains over 4 million registered users
- Possibility of raw DNA data download for further application
- The test checks 700,000 genetic markers within your genome
- An interdisciplinary team made of renowned professionals
- Modern DNA processing facility with ISO 17025 certification
- A wide range of testing solutions with guaranteed anonymity
- 80 world regions covered, alongside 21 in the British Isles
- The company offers unlimited updates of your DNA results
- 15-fold analysis of 650,000 genetic markers in your genome
- The widest array of different DNA tests on the market
- Free updates of your test results after the initial order
- Free transfer of raw data from AncestryDNA & 23andME
- Owned state-of-the-art laboratory with CLIA certification
- “Now and Later” packs available, allowing you to save money
- Exclusive testing methods with no room for potential errors
- One of the most accurate tests with 800,000+ SNP checked
- The test covers 36 regions and 862 reference populations
- Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA raw data transfer
- The DNA samples are processed by world-leading DNA experts
- One of the broadest set of testing solutions on the market
- Flexible DNA sampling policy and quick turnaround times
- State-of-the-art processing facility with CLIA certification
- All tests are supervised by the scientific advisory board
- The test screens carriers for 200 different genetic diseases
- Health reports show potential for hereditary conditions
- 570,000 genetic markers checked within Ancestry Service
- Company Database contains around 2 million registered users
- Cutting-edge testing facilities with ISO 17025 certification
- The most affordable relationship DNA testing you can find
- Numerous testing solutions with flexible payment/order plans
Ranking Criteria Explained
During our initial research, we’ve defined a canon of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” when it comes to DNA testing.
Here’s where we expected out top picks to excel:
- The size of the company’s database
- The overall quality of the tests offered
- Test accuracy
- Potential for errors and test failures
- Turnaround time
- Service quality
- What is covered by the results
- Developed community
- Possibility of results transfer
Once you have all this information closely compared across the top companies on the market, making a fully informed choice about your further steps comes down to looking at numbers. This ultimate guide to the best at home DNA tests of 2017 cannot help you with identifying your personal needs and expectations, however. You’ll have to set your list of priorities and anticipated results, then consult our guide on how to take it from there.
AncestryDNA is just one segment of the largest genealogical conglomerate in the world. Besides a dedicated DNA testing company, the also feature a magazine with more than 2 million paying subscribers and 16 billion uploaded documents historical records, photos, and stories.
Their Ancestry DNA test goes for 99$ and encompasses both autosomal and gender genes research, which means you’ll be able to get results on your entire genome without having to order 3 separate tests. On the other hand, though, separate results are no longer available, so if you want just your paternal or maternal line examined, AncestryDNA is not the top choice.
The test provides:
- Insights into your DNA matches within the biggest database in the industry.
- Ethnicity map, which offers an interactive way of locating your distant DNA relatives throughout ancient times.
- DNA circles, which allows the living relatives to gather in clusters, around one common historic ancestor.
- “Map and locations” map for subscribers to their Ancestry Magazine. It’s a tool that indicates birth locations of your direct DNA ancestors within 10 generations or less.
- AncestryDNA also allows for raw data download, so you can use your results with free genealogy websites and other DNA testing companies.
Other reasons you might want to opt for AncestryDNA:
- The tests check 700,000 genetic markers, which results in higher accuracy.
- The results will address your potential Native American ancestry.
- Excellent security of your personal information.
- Interesting and thought-provoking research projects you can be a part of.
Their blog indicates they’ve expanded the shipping possibilities to 35 countries across the world.
New Life Genetics Review
New Life Genetics is a company dedicated to discovering genetic information that’ll allow everyone to live a better, healthier, and longer life. Our genetic code holds the answers to some of the biggest mysteries regarding our health and general well-being. The company was launched in 2014 with corporate headquarters in Silkeborg, Denmark. The driving force behind New Life Genetics is the desire to “unlock” all our genetic secrets and get a glimpse of the true “human condition.”
New Life Genetics features one of the most interdisciplinary teams of scientists we’ve ever seen, covering the fields of genetics, health, nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics, sport, nutrition, and dietetics. This symbiosis of genetics, biotechnology, and dietetics form a scientific foundation for everything New Life Genetics is or will ever be.
Like all other companies offering at-home DNA tests, New Life Genetics follows the established direct-to-customer testing model. After you’ve placed your order and registered your personal testing kit, all you have to do is wait for it for arrive at your home address. Once the kit is delivered, you’ll proceed to collect a small sample of your buccal cells using a provided mouth swab. When you return the kit and it reaches the company laboratory, it’ll take around 20 days to process the sample and generate your results. You’ll receive an email with a link to your final report, after which you can read it online or download it to your phone, tablet or computer.
Living DNA Review
Living DNA is by far the youngest company on our list of the best at home DNA test providers. They were founded in 2016 as a subsidiary of DNA Worldwide Group. Their parent company was founded in 2004, though. This fresh platform was a result of collaboration with Family Tree DNA, Scotland’s DNA, and over a hundred leading scientists, academic researchers and genetic experts.
Having said that, Living DNA has the widest regional coverage, examining 80 different world regions for your potential DNA ancestors. The British Isles alone are covered via 21 regions, offering the most detailed and precise results if you’re British. Their solitary Ancestry test can actually be perceived as 3 tests in a single package. This means it covers both the autosomal and gender chromosomes, providing results on your family tree in its entirety, as well as direct paternal/maternal lineages.
The test examines 650,000 genetic markers and offers the following results and features:
- Family ancestry, which determines the population with the highest DNA similarity among the 80 ones tested. This uncovers your true genetic ancestors and the origins of your DNA.
- Fatherline ancestry is exclusively available to males due to their Y chromosome. The results will identify your direct paternal lineage tens of thousands of years in the past, alongside the highest point of impact for your particular haplogroup.
- Motherline ancestry follows the same principle and provides the same type of results, only from your mother’s side of the family tree.
- “Back in time” map, with a comprehensive overview of the geographic outlines throughout history.
The software and methods used by the company are developed by more than 25 experts, aided by leading Oxford and Bristol academics.
Family Tree DNA Review
Family Tree has a towering corporate conglomerate behind it. We’re talking about Gene by Gene, which founded Family Tree DNA in 1999 as one of its divisions, specialized in genetic genealogy. By that time, Gene by Gene had already successfully performed more than 5 million DNA tests. Family Tree DNA offers 3 main groups of tests, with several subgroups and variations. They even feature different promotional bundles, so the possibility of choice is truly broadened to satisfy even the most delicate of requirements.
Besides their autosomal DNA ancestry test, called “Family Finder,” they also provide separate Y and mitochondrial tests, which is not a widely available separation. So, if you want to know exclusively about your fatherline or direct maternal lineage throughout centuries, Family Tree DNA may be the right choice for you.
Other factors going in this company’s favor include:
- One of the biggest user databases
- Inspection of potential Jewish heritage
- Modern facilities and technologies
- Frequent webinars alongside already rich knowledge base
- Worldwide shipping
- Free results updates
- Transfer of your results from AncestryDNA and 23andMe
- Personalized customer support
The most interesting endeavor by far, however, is their Family Finder test. For 89$, you’ll be able to determine and connect to potential relatives in their user database, trace your ancestors throughout history, as in their habitats and migration patterns. You can build your own family tree and explore solitary chromosomes with their “Chromosome Browser” app. The test checks 16 generations of your forebears, possibly locating the ancient relative that started your genetic line. Family Finder DNA test can be bundled with Y-tests and full sequence mitochondrial examination.
TeloYears is a genetic test developed by Telomere Diagnostics, Inc. One of the four scientists that founded the company back in 2010 was Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine for pioneering work in the field of telomere biology. The purpose of TeloYears test is to measure the cellular age encoded in your DNA and relate it to how well you’re aging. Apart from that role, the test results should inspire you to make improvements in all fields of personal wellness.
Before you are allowed to place your order, you’ll have to provide contact and payment information and answer a short questionnaire to ensure that TeloYears is the right test for you. Your information will be subject to the review of a highly-qualified physician, who will also be in charge of ordering your test for you. The at-home DNA testing kit should arrive within a week of the receipt of your order. TeloYears requires a blood sample. Don’t worry, the test only needs one drop since it contains over 50,000 cells and enough genetic material for proper processing. The final report will be sent to you via email 3-4 weeks after your blood sample reaches the lab.
The price of the test is 89$ and you also have the option of purchasing their “Now and Later” pack, which saves you 20$ on two bundled tests. Note that you can’t order TeloYears as a gift but only for yourself. Every test also comes with a bonus personal “Blueprint for Aging Well.”
GPS Origins Review
GPS Origins is an ancestry DNA test created and sold by DDC (DNA Diagnostics Center). The acronym stands for “Geographic Population Structure,” denoting the overall accuracy of the test. Its main selling point is the ability to pinpoint the exact location of your DNA strain throughout history, going 1,000 years in the past.
Dr. Eran Elhaik, the multidisciplinary team leader at the University of Sheffield, is the creator of the GPS Origins test. DDC, on the other hand, was founded in 2005 with the idea of making scientific achievements available to the general public. The company is well-known for their hi-tech testing facilities and robotics technology utilized for DNA sequencing.
You can do the GPS Origins DNA test without even leaving your home. Before placing an order with DDC ancestry service, you must create your personal account on the official website. Once your DNA testing kit arrives, you can collect your sample by performing a simple buccal swab. After sending the specimen back, your final report should be generated within 4-6 weeks. You’ll receive an email notification about your results, which you can then inspect online.
GPS Origins ancestry test checks 800,000 genetic markers and covers 36 world regions with 862 reference populations. It reaches around 1,000 years in the past and is able to sometimes point to the exact town or village of your genetic origin. Furthermore, the unique composition of your genetic signature is explored and compared to over 10,000 DNA signatures located in the DDC database.
Live Well Testing Review
Live Well Testing is a corporate branch of Confirm BioSciences, Inc. The company is located in San Diego, California, and represents an e-commerce outreach tool for its father company. The official website offers a wide spectrum of different DNA testing solutions designed to improve the overall health and wellness of your body, pets, and environment. You can view Live Well Testing like Amazon or eBay for DNA tests.
Their father conglomerate was launched in 2008 and is currently ranked among the top 25 San Diego companies. They were also listed as #1136 on the Inc.com top 5000 rankings for 2016. So, it’s only natural that Live Well Testing follows in the footsteps of the people who created it by exercising the same level of corporate excellence.
All products offered by Live Well Testing have one thing in common, their direct-to-consumer approach. This means that, once you’ve placed your order, you’ll receive the corresponding home testing kit, allowing you to perform the sample collection process from your home and simply mail it back to the testing facility. Once the DNA processing is complete, you’ll receive your final report via email. We can’t get into the specifics regarding the average turnaround time since there are too many tests to count.
Note that Live Well Testing offers both legal and non-legal testing solutions, enabling you to obtain legal proof of a genetic relationship in case you ever need one. The company also has an A+ rating with Better Business Bureau, which further solidifies all the positive facts we’ve given so far.
JScreen is a nonprofit institution partnered with Emory University and committed to screening for the potential carriers of genetic diseases commonly present among the individuals with Jewish genetic heritage. JScreen was dubbed one of the most innovative American Jewish institutions in 2014.
JScreen was created by the family hardships of Randy and Caroline Gold, both long-time Jewish community activists. Their daughter was diagnosed with Mucolipidosis Type IV (ML4) in 2009 when she was just 18 months old. This is a very severe, yet completely preventable Jewish genetic condition. JScreen was basically formed the moment they found out that the carrier test they did covered only 8 of the 19 most frequent genetic diseases.
JScreen DNA testing kits are delivered to your home address for sample collection. The kit requires a vial of your saliva, which could take between 2 and 5 minutes to complete. Note that JScreen will not allow you to place an order before contacting your physician to obtain medical approval. Once your DNA specimen is collected, just drop the kit in the nearest FedEx box and wait for your results. The final report is usually generated 3-4 weeks after the laboratory receives your sample. You’ll get an email notification informing you that your results are ready and how to inspect them.
The price of the test is 149$ with private insurance. If you can’t afford it and still want to get tested, you can check if you’re eligible for their financial assistance program. The test screens for 200 genetic diseases and conditions, including 19 most commonly found in individuals with Jewish origins.
Backed up by impressive corporate giants like Google, Genentech, New Enterprise Associates and others, 23andMe met all the prerequisites for greatness very early on. They are among the rare DNA testing companies today offering health-related results alongside ancestry tests.
Their Ancestry Service test has a price tag of 99$ and the results include:
- Identification of your genetic relatives, with percentages of shared DNA for every single one.
- Genetic heritage, which answers the question where your genes originated from. You will also be able to inspect your ancestry timeline, explaining even further the origins of your genes.
- Haplogroups definition will pinpoint the origins of first humans ever to carry your DNA.
- Neanderthal DNA, which shows the percentage of your DNA that is left from your Neanderthal ancestors.
The genetic heritage part of the test explores 31 world regions or sample populations, as the scientific nomenclature goes. They are working on expanding this number, which would make information on your DNA ancestors throughout history even more precise.
The health or medical portion of the service comes with a 100$ surcharge on top of the main test. The point of the test is locating carries genes with the capacity of causing outbreaks of hereditary conditions. If you have these genes, you’ll want to uncover them as soon as possible and take the steps necessary. 23andMe health results define potential exposure to 41 health conditions, 19 personal traits, and 7 wellness traits. Their database holds around a million of users so far. That translates to a million potential relatives.
Paternity Depot Review
Paternity Depot is a DNA testing provider with almost a decade of experience in the field and corporate offices located in New York and Toronto. They have based their business philosophy around offering some of the most budget-friendly prices on the market paired with the quickest turnaround times.
Paternity Depot employs the direct-to-customer business approach, meaning you’ll be able to complete the test and receive the results without ever leaving your home. You can place your order through the official website or over the phone. Once you’ve received the DNA testing kit, you can perform a buccal swab on all interested parties and send the specimens back for further testing. When your final report is generated, you can receive your results over the phone, email or fax. The results are usually in within one week. If you can’t perform the buccal swab, Paternity Depot also offers relationship DNA testing through alternative sources (blood found on any material, nail clipping, semen, etc…)
Paternity testing is their predominant professional activity (hence the name), but they also offer other forms of relationship DNA testing. Their portfolio holds sibling, avuncular, and grandparent DNA tests. You can also order the legal version of paternity testing in case you need to use the results as legal proof of paternity in a court of law, immigration office, and so on. The legal paternity DNA test is charged only 50$ on top of the regular fee, which truly is one of best possible offers for this kind of testing.
Choosing The Best At Home DNA Test For Your Needs
DNA testing companies definitely did us an immense favor by incorporating the direct-to-customer model. Simplifying the procedure reduced it to a few clicks on your computer. The process starts with you choosing the best DNA test for your needs and ordering a corresponding test kit. When the sample is collected, you simply send it back via the provided pre-paid mailer.
After the processing period of anywhere between 4-12 weeks, you’ll be able to explore your results on the company’s website. You’ll also get your dedicated personal page in case of ancestry DNA tests, with an opportunity to connect with your newly-discovered relatives and add them to your personal family tree.
Paternity tests, however, yield results in just a couple of days, depending on the difficulty of the case. If the father is not available for testing, his male siblings or father can be used as substitutes, and if they’re not available also, the only possible route is family reconstruction, which can take quite a bit of time.
Bottom line is, it all starts with you deciding whether you require an ancestry, health or paternity test. Furthermore, if establishing paternity is your course of action, you should determine whether you need it as a legal document or just for your peace of mind. Once you have that figured out, all that is left is finding the best DNA test and company for you.
We hope we succeeded in outlining the most interesting offers made by the best at home DNA testing companies currently on the market. They all have their pros and cons, but you can learn all about those in our dedicated in-depth reviews.