Last Updated January, 2020
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01
Editor's Choice
Star Ratings
Affordable and efficient service to discover one’s family tree, find out new relatives, uncover ethnic origins, and find DNA matches.
  • Well-packaged simple test
  • Upload DNA from other tests
  • Available in nearly 42 languages
9.8
overall rating
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02
Star Ratings
Curious about your ancestral roots and want to know your ethnic make-up? Try the DNA test by Living DNA to know your family tree.
  • Free shipping
  • Simple mouth swab test
  • Interactive and colorful visualizations
9.8
overall rating
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03
Star Ratings
A top-notch, reliable DNA testing company that combines affordability and reliability while offering more insight than other DNA kits.
  • Easy to understand results
  • Offers more insight than other kits
  • Large and diverse database
9.5
overall rating
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04
Star Ratings
A DNA test that gives you an in-depth understanding of your ethnicity and health conditions through the extensive knowledge base.
  • Multiple tier pricing
  • Comprehensive health products
  • Extensive knowledge base
9.3
overall rating
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05
Star Ratings
A unique DNA testing kit crafted to help you understand your genes better and the ways in which it affects your health and fitness.
  • An extensive variety of health-based test kits
  • Free mobile app
  • Free shipping
9.2
overall rating
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06
Star Ratings
A unique testing kit that has revolutionized the DNA testing industry and pinpoints the precise location of where your DNA stems from.
  • Accurate genetic origin details
  • Accepts prior DNA data
  • Easy to use 
8.9
overall rating
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07
Star Ratings
The Nutrisystem DNA Body Blueprint test helps you find the nutritional approach with a comprehensive health plan taken from your DNA analysis.
  • Quick results available online
  • Affordable DNA testing kit
  • Comprehensive action plan
8.8
overall rating
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08
Star Ratings
Knowledge is power! Know your genetic blueprint and gain the power to effectively prevent as many as 28 types of common conditions.
  • 3-step process
  • Free worldwide shipping
  • Educates about common diseases
8.7
overall rating
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09
Star Ratings
23andMe is a DNA test that renders robust information about genetic traits with an interactive interface, bringing great value.
  • Interactive interface
  • In-depth reporting details
  • Great value
8.5
overall rating
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Thinking about doing a DNA test? Read this before you do

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the blueprint of a person; each individual has a unique DNA that determines their individual characteristics and traits. It traces the long line of evolution a person has gone through. It was only in the 1940s that scientists found out that DNA molecules are passed down through generations in a family. Later in 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the chemical structure of DNA, which is now popularly referred to as the helix structure. The information in each person’s DNA is present in the form of a code, also known as genetic code.

This genetic code is read through a DNA test. According to many DNA testing reviews and DNA testing kits reviews, most people undergo DNA testing to know more about their ancestry and in some cases. family medical history as well.

Here are a few commonly asked questions about DNA testing.

What is the DNA testing process?

The DNA testing process requires specialized machinery, and primary tasks are conducted in a lab. The process comprises the following steps.

  • Sample collection: This involves the collection of any bodily fluid or hair using DNA testing kits. One of the less invasive samples involves a cheek swab. All of these carry a person’s DNA.
  • Cell lysis: This step involves adding an enzyme to a solution with the DNA sample in it and breaking down the cell membranes.
  • Separation: The DNA is separated from the rest of the molecules in the sample.
  • Copying: Copies of the DNA are generated.
  • Testing: The copies of the DNA are tested to find genetic markers to identify a genetic relationship.

Does DNA testing work?

According to several DNA testing reviews, DNA tests done through commercial DNA testing kits only look at which geographical regions are home to most people with similar DNA signatures. These results are generalizations about genetics across large populations through time and across the world. So most DNA testing will be able to indicate a person’s first cousin or even third cousin if the DNA information of the cousins is stored in the system. However, DNA testing will not be able to accurately indicate whether someone is related to another person in the distant past. For example, a DNA test will not be able to accurately reveal if someone is related to Cleopatra or Harry Truman.

Is DNA testing accurate?

Most DNA testing reviews state that DNA testing for ancestry is never perfectly accurate. The biological results are just an estimation of a person’s ancestry. This is because a person inherits 50-50 genes from both parents. So, a test can suggest that a person has a specific ancestry but won’t be able to indicate whether it comes from the mother or the father unless both parents are tested as well. Some DNA testing kits also reveal potential health risks. However, the accuracy of the information on health is debatable.

Is DNA testing safe?

Most private DNA testing companies have privacy policies in place to safeguard the genetic information of their customers. Many such companies require explicit consent from customers to share genetic information with third parties. However, the genetic testing industry does face a risk of hacking, which may release DNA data to private servers. Moreover, according to experts, there are no stringent and broad laws to protect genetic privacy. Also, law enforcement and courts can easily ask these companies for a person’s DNA information under a subpoena.

Does DNA testing show the lineage of both parents?

According to most DNA testing kits reviews, tests based on autosomal DNA give broader results. Since a person inherits 50 percent genes from each parent, these tests can show the lineage of both parents. However, tests based on mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) can only show a mother’s lineage. Also, Y-DNA testing can reveal a father’s lineage, but only for males.

Does DNA testing affect insurance?

The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act does not allow insurers to ask for or use a person’s genetic information while deciding whether to sell them health insurance or while charging them for insurance. However, this privacy protection does not cover long-term life insurance, care policies, or disability insurance; it is necessary to read the fine print as most DNA testing reviews and DNA testing kits reviews do not reveal this. Also, if a person undergoes DNA testing after buying the policy, the results won’t affect the coverage.

Best DNA testing kits

Based on most DNA testing kits reviews and DNA testing reviews, here are some of the popular testing kits.

MyHeritage DNA

This is an affordable, efficient, and autosomal test-based DNA testing kit to find out one’s ethnicity and ancestry. Its features are as follows:

  • Hassle-free collection kit
  • Provides results within a short period
  • Gives near-accurate ethnicity estimate
  • Most comprehensive list of ethnicities available
  • Helpful knowledge base

Read the MyHeritage DNA review here

Ancestry

With the latest cutting-edge DNA science and technology, Ancestry delivers in-depth historical insights to uncover family origins. Here are some of its features:

  • Affordable pricing
  • Quick results
  • Largest DNA database
  • Easy-to-use
  • Commendable privacy policy

Read the Ancestry review here

Living DNA

This is a 3-in-1 ancestry test that covers the family line ancestry, maternal line, and the paternal line (for males only). Its features are mentioned below:

  • 3 simple steps to knowing your ancestry
  • Extensive family networks
  • Personalized ancestry book
  • Assured secure testing
  • Wide data search

Read the Living DNA review here

Is DNA testing worth it?

DNA testing reveals ethnicity, ancestry, and in some cases, inherent health disorders too. If a person is not sure about their ethnic background, a DNA test can be helpful. For those curious about their health, most DNA testing reviews and DNA testing kits reviews recommend that a medical expert should be consulted before opting for health-related DNA testing. Without expert consultation, unexpected test results may lead to undue stress and could potentially worsen health complications due to self-diagnosis. Although DNA testing can be useful, there are a number of privacy-related legal loopholes involved, especially in cases of commercial DNA testing kits. Before opting for such tests, it is best to gauge, on an individual basis, whether the requirement for DNA testing far outweighs privacy concerns.