HomeDNA Review

UPDATED Jul. 2018

HomeDNA is a brand owned by DNA Diagnostics Center Inc. (DDC), a company with more than 20 years of experience in the field and over 2 million executed DNA tests. The father company was founded in 1995, aiming to incorporate the latest scientific breakthroughs into widely available and affordable DNA testing options. DDC incorporates several renowned brands, including GPS Origins, DDC Paternity Test, HomeDNA, and Wisdom Panel. It offers a wide range of DNA testing solutions for ancestry, biological relationships, forensic research, health & beauty, and pets.

The conglomerate is also well-known for its hi-tech approach to DNA testing and sequencing facilities equipped with robotics technology. The DNA tests offered by HomeDNA are developed by experienced professionals in their respective fields and we’ll cover all the DNA testing options in its portfolio in this dedicated HomeDNA review.

HomeDNA homepage

How HomeDNA Works

HomeDNA follows the well-known direct-to-customer approach, which includes the following steps:

  • Placing an order  You can view the company’s complete offer on the HomeDNA website and place your order there. Some of the tests are also available in select retail stores worldwide. You can utilize the “Find a Store” feature on the Overview page of every test to easily locate a store near you.
  • Sample collection  Once your personal DNA testing kit arrives at your address, you’ll be able to collect your DNA sample for further processing. HomeDNA tests usually require a cheek swab, which is a quick and entirely painless procedure.
  • Kit registration  Make sure to register your kit before sending it back to HomeDNA. Once you enter the register window, you’ll be asked whether you or somebody else is doing the test. After answering the question, you’ll be prompted to enter your unique kit barcode. You can find the barcode printed on the back of the DNA sample envelope. 
  • Sending the kit back  With sample collection and kit registration out of the way, you can mail your sample back to the DDC lab for sequencing. The tests come with a pre-paid mailer, so you won’t have to worry about any additional costs.
  • Inspecting the results  For most of the tests, you’ll receive a confirmation email once your sample is ready for processing. After the testing phase, your final report will be uploaded to your personal account and ready for inspection. The average turnaround time depends on the test in question. You can find the turnaround times for each test in the Tests section of our HomeDNA review.
HomeDNA work

As always, we recommend not eating, drinking anything but water, smoking, brushing your teeth or chewing a bubble gum at least half an hour (ideally, 2 hours) before swabbing your inner cheeks for buccal cells. With animal DNA tests, you also shouldn’t feed the tested animal half an hour before collecting the sample.    

Why Choose HomeDNA

Its connection with DDC already tells us a lot about the level of service we can expect from HomeDNA. That, combined with state-of-the-art processing facilities and the meticulous approach to DNA examination guaranteed by DDC is already enough to spark our interest.

Here are some additional reasons to perform your DNA test with HomeDNA:

  • Developed by the largest company in the field 
  • Numerous DNA testing solutions 
  • Highly experienced team 
  • One of the most accredited and modern laboratories in the world 
  • Accurate results with zero possibility of errors 
  • Quick turnaround times 
  • Comprehensive and detailed reports 
  • Raw data upload 
  • Affordable prices 
  • Competent user support  
  • Excellent privacy policy  
  • Extensive knowledge base 

Tests

The DNA tests offered by HomeDNA are segmented into 3 categories, so we’ll go over each one and elaborate on the specific options.  

HomeDNA tests

Ancestry

This category allows you to uncover your biological lineage and pinpoint the “movement” of your DNA strain throughout history. It contains the following options: 

  • GPS Origins Algorithm (39.00$)  This option allows you to upload your raw data from previous DNA tests taken with Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and National Geographic. Your raw data will be used as a DNA sample for the GPS Origins test.
  • GPS Origins Ancestry Test (199.00$) Launched in 2016, this test offers the latest methodology and technology for determining the history of your family. GPS Origins utilizes a new ancestral tracking technique and analyzes 800,000 genetic markers, 1,000+ reference populations, and 41 gene pools. It’s the only test with biogeographical targeting to a specific village or town, identifying the origination point of the DNA signature that leads to you. It also follows migration patterns throughout history, allowing you to see the movement of your ancestors over time. Your final report will include an interactive map, a comprehensive gene pool profile with appropriate DNA percentages, and a detailed overview of the migrations of your paternal and maternal DNA lineages. The average turnaround time for this test is around 6 weeks weeks.
  • HomeDNA Starter Ancestry Test (69.00$)  This test allows you to locate the origins of your ancestral DNA and discover the population groups with which you have the most in common. The test will also show you which of the modern populations resembles your DNA the most. Starter Ancestry Test checks 100 genetic markers and provides results in around 3 weeks.
  • GPS Origins Ancestry Test African Edition (199.00$) – This is the original version of the test focused on African descent. 11 gene pools analyzed (out of 41) tie users to the African continent.
  • GPS Origins Ancestry Test Asian Edition (199.00$) – This is GPS Origins focused on Asian genetic heritage. 17 gene pools out of 41 are Asia-specific.
  • DNA Origins Maternal Lineage (69.00$) – This testing iteration allows you to follow your ancestry along your direct maternal line. The results will display your maternal haplogroup and a comprehensive migration map of your ancestors. The average turnaround time is between 6 and 8 weeks.
  • DNA Origins Paternal Lineage (69.00$) – This testing option helps you discover your ancestry along your direct paternal line. Note that you shouldn’t send your own DNA sample if you’re a female since paternal lineage data can only be extracted from the Y-chromosome. If you want to learn more about your paternal line, your biological father or brother will have to submit their DNA sample for testing.

Health

This segment is dedicated to employing modern achievements in the field of genetics to improve your overall health and well-being. It includes the following tests: 
  • HomeDNA Healthy Weight (119.00$)  This revolutionary test analyzes genetic markers that influence your weight and provides you with a fully customized plan for a healthier diet and exercise regimen. The final report will include personal recommendations regarding the food you should eat, nutrient needs based on your genetic signature, ideal exercises for achieving and maintaining your healthiest weight, and a list of recipes tailored to your body. The results are uploaded to your account within 3 weeks after receiving your sample.
  • HomeDNA Paternity (164.00$)  This test, formerly known as IDENTIGENE, is one of the most trusted paternity DNA tests in America. The final report is strictly confidential and can be uploaded to your account or delivered by mail in just one day. HomeDNA also offers the possibility of paternity DNA testing for legal purposes. 
  • HomeDNA Skin Care (99.00$)  The test analyzes SNPs related to the overall performance of your skin. It’ll allow you to take the guesswork out of purchasing skin care products by providing a deeper understanding of your genetic profile. You’ll also receive results regarding collagen quality, fine lines and wrinkles, skin elasticity, pigmentation, sun protection, skin sensitivity, and antioxidants, alongside personal recommendations for topical ingredients, professional treatments, and supplement ingredients. The results usually arrive within 3 weeks.
  • Joint Care DNA Test (49.00$)  The test checks genetic markers in charge of collagen production and its overall quality. The final report arrives within 3-4 weeks and it includes the assessment of your joint health, recommendations for your diet/exercise routine, and potential improvements to your lifestyle. It is recommended that you share the results with your physician.

Pets

This category is completely dedicated to dog DNA testing, featuring the following solutions:

  • Mixed-Breed Dog Identification DNA Test and Life Plan (125.00$) – HomeDNA used to offer Wisdom Panel 3.0 but recently switched to Orivet’s DNA dog identification. Hundreds of genetic markers in your dog’s DNA will be inspected and compared with the same markers associated with 220 of the most popular dog breeds. You can expect your final results within 3 weeks after the lab receives the samples. Orivet’s dog DNA tests also come with a Life Plan, which allows you to obtain personalized, detailed information about your dog’s weight prediction, diet and nutrition, and preferred activities and games. You can also share this information with your vet and help them optimize your dog’s healthcare. Note that your pet’s report and Life Plan won’t be available in your HomeDNA account but through Orivet.com.
  • Cat DNA Health Screen and Life Plan (125.00$) – This testing option will inspect your cat’s DNA for more than 40 genetic traits and diseases. The Life Plan, on the other hand, will help you organize your pet’s nutrition, activities, and healthcare. The final report is usually generated within 3 weeks and sent to you via mail from Orivet.com.
  • Dog DNA Health Screen and Life Plan (125.00$) – This option uses the same testing approach as Cat DNA Health Screen, but it tests your dog’s DNA for more than 100 genetic traits and diseases.

Privacy And Security

HomeDNA has a strict privacy policy, so you don’t have to worry about your personal information being handed over to third parties. According to its terms of service, it promises to:

  • Never disclose any information regarding your case or personal data without your explicit permission; 
  • Always follow your instructions about communication with other parties regarding your tests;
  • Never release any confidential information including the test results over the phone.

Shipping And Handling

HomeDNA will ship your DNA testing kit within 1 business day of receiving your order. They use USPS, which comes with free shipping for both domestic and overseas customers. Domestic deliveries take between 7 and 10 business days while shipments sent overseas arrive within 3 weeks. If you so choose, you can upgrade your shipping for faster delivery. Note that 1-day or 2-day delivery is only available to domestic customers. You can also order a hard copy of your Home Paternity Test results for an additional fee.

 

Bottom Line

Like we said at the beginning of this HomeDNA review, it is a brand owned by DDC, which already says enough. The company offers high-quality DNA testing solutions and incorporates some of the most advanced scientific achievements into its testing options. HomeDNA is a very flexible brand covering a wide range of tests and results. As such, we can only recommend its services if you’re in the market for a good provider of health, ancestry or health DNA testing.


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