What is the best DNA test kit?

If you have decided to test your DNA, you may be overwhelmed by all of the choices available today. There are so many DNA testing companies out there…

What is the difference, and who should you to chose?

I can’t tell you which company to use, but I can fill you in on what is offered.

This quick reference guide compares the well-known companies that offer DNA testing. I’ll list important decision factors such as cost, ability to download your raw data, ease of use, reports provided for the lowest tier, and privacy.


What should I consider when choosing a DNA testing company?

One of the most important factors when considering a company is understanding its privacy policy.

1) Privacy is super important when it comes to your genetic and health data:

  • Don’t trust their advertising; read the privacy policy. Especially the section on genetic data.
  • Make sure that you have the option to delete your account and delete your DNA data with the company.

2) Make sure the company offers access to the raw data and the ability to download it.

  • The data is your personal information, and you have a right to it.
  • Also, having access to the raw data will allow you to use other sources for guidance, not just the company that performed the test.

3) Customer support needs to be excellent. Check reviews to see how the company handles customer complaints, and then reach out to the company before purchasing, if you have any questions.

4) Check out how well their website works. Is it easy enough to understand? Are there videos to help you navigate anything that is confusing?


Tip: If the company offers a downloadable data file, the same raw data is available whether you buy the cheapest option or a more expensive package.


Companies that offer testing services:

Please note that I’m providing this list just for your information. I have no affiliation with the companies and do not earn anything from the links.

23andMe

23andMe was one of the first direct-to-consumer DNA testing companies. They offer ancestry information, DNA relatives, and health reports (additional). 23andMe uses  Labcorp, located in the U.S., for the DNA test.

Base price: Ancestry + Traits Service for $99. Includes a report on 30 traits, along with an ancestry breakdown.
Download raw data? Yes, instructions on the website.
Delete data? Yes, instructions on the website.
Ease of use: The website is supported across all platforms. The company also has an app on the Google Play and Apple markets.
Privacy policy:  23andMe privacy information.
Data file works on Genetic Lifehacks? Yes

AncestryDNA

AncestryDNA is another well-recognized company with millions of users. It uses a third-party testing lab in the United States.

Base price: AncestryDNA® for $99. The package includes reports for Origins + Ethnicity and DNA Matches.
Download raw data: Yes, instructions on the website.
Delete data: Yes, instructions on the website.
Ease of use: The website is supported across all platforms. The company also has an app on the Google Play and Apple markets.
Privacy policyAncestryDNA privacy information.
Data file works on Genetic Lifehacks? Yes

MyHeritage

MyHeritage is another ancestry focused website that started offering its DNA service in 2016. They offer ancestry information and DNA relatives. MyHeritage uses Gene By Gene, a genetic testing facility in Houston, Texas, to test US-based clients.

Base price: MyHeritage DNA kit for $89. Its report uses 2,114 geographic regions to determine ancestry.
Download raw data: Yes, instructions on the website.
Delete data: Yes, instructions on the website.
Ease of use: The website is supported across all platforms.
Privacy Policy: MyHeritage privacy information.
Data file works on Genetic Lifehacks? Yes, but you will have to convert it to a .txt file

FamilyTreeDNA

FamilyTreeDNA is owned by Gene by Gene. They offer ancestry information and DNA relatives. The samples are processed and stored in their laboratory.

Base price: Family Ancestry kit for $79. The report gives a percentage breakdown of your origins and connections to ancient European groups.
Download raw data: NO. You can copy the file from only the Y-DNA – Haplotree & SNPs page of your myFTDNA account.
Delete data: Yes, but you have to contact customer service.
Ease of use: The website is supported across all platforms. The process of downloading and deleting data is more cumbersome than competitors.
Privacy Policy: FamilyTreeDNA privacy information.
Data file works on Genetic Lifehacks? Yes

CRI genetics

CRI genetics was founded in 2017 and is a smaller company that the ones listed above. It is not focused on genealogy, but rather gives you the composition of your ancestry plus traits.

Base price: Ancestry + Traits for $79. The report includes recent ancestry within the last five generations, an ancestry timeline, and 15 traits reports.
Download raw data: No, there is no option to download your data.
Delete data: Yes, but you have to contact them directly.
Ease of use: The website is supported across all platforms. There is no way to download your raw data. They offer help guides, but there is no way to search for a topic on the website. You have to engage in a chat to find unpublished information.
Privacy Policy:  CRI genetics privacy information.
Data file works on Genetic Lifehacks? No

tellmeGen

The company was founded in 2014 and is located in Spain. Its laboratory is Eurofins Genomics, Denmark.

Base price: Starter DNA Kit for $89. The report states, “90 aspects related to your well-being, traits and ancestry, as well as contact your genetic relatives”.
Download raw data: Yes, instructions on the website.
Delete data: Yes, but you must contact them directly.
Ease of use: The website is supported across all platforms. They offer help guides, but there is no way to search for a topic on the website. You have to engage in a chat to find unpublished information.
Privacy Policy: tellmeGen privacy information.
Data file works on Genetic Lifehacks? Yes

Genesight

Genesight offers pharmacogenomics testing and reports on how your genes interact with medications. The company is part of Myriad genetics. The tests are analyzed at its in-house lab.

Base price: No price list exists. The system is designed to be billed through insurance. They state they will notify the customer if the cost exceeds $330. The reports are intended to demonstrate how genetics may impact drug interactions.
Download raw data: Unknown. Information is not on the website.
Delete data: Yes, but you must contact them directly. You must also contact them to destroy your DNA sample. De-identified samples will remain for future testing.
Ease of use: The product is meant to be used in tandem with a health care provider. The health care provider orders the kit for you, and they will receive the results.
Privacy Policy: Genesight’s privacy information.
Data file works on Genetic Lifehacks? No

Selfdecode

The company was started in 2016 and offers DNA testing for health reports (not ancestry or genealogy). Genius Labs is the parent company.

Base price: DNA Kit + Health Insights for $149. The report includes 25 health reports and 15 trait reports.
Download raw data: Yes, instructions on the website.
Delete data: Yes, but you must contact them directly.
Ease of use: The website is supported across all platforms.
Privacy Policy:  Selfdecode privacy information.
Data file works on Genetic Lifehacks? Yes

Sequencing.com

Sequencing.com was founded in 2013 by ⁠Dr. Brandon Colby, MD. It offers whole genome testing as well as many different third party apps.

Base price: Whole Genome Sequencing Bundle for $399.
Download raw data: Yes, instructions on the website.
Delete data: Yes, instructions on the website.
Ease of use: The website is best on desktops.
Privacy Policy:  Sequencing.com privacy information.
Data file works on Genetic Lifehacks? Yes, but you will need to download it in a 23andMe format (available)


Shameless Plug! Want to go further with your genetic raw data? Join as a Member! 


Pet DNA testing services

Have you considered testing your dog or cat’s DNA? There are companies that now specialize in pet DNA testing.  Embark is who I used for testing dog DNA — easy to use, fast results, and interesting to learn from.


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