There are many different DNA testing kits that you can take in the comfort of your own home. So why should you buy any of the Home DNA test kits that are currently available from this company?
Well check out this review as I discuss each of the 5 kits that they offer and explain why they might be right for you!
Home DNA Testing Details:
|Type of Test||Autosomal (atDNA), Mitochondrial (mtDNA) and Y-Chromosome (yDNA)|
|How Tested||Cheek swab|
|Results Waiting Time||2-3 Weeks for atDNA, 6-8 Weeks for mtDNA and yDNA|
|Normal Price||$69 – Upload Raw DNA data;|
|Additional Cost||Currently free shipping applies|
|Available In||United States, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia|
Where will your family history journey take you!
I am just amazed at what information that I can find about my ancestors. Just when I think I have found enough about them something else pops. It’s really quite surprising.
If you are reading this then you have probably already looked around your home and asked your relatives for help with discovering your family’s roots.
You’ve probably also taken the next step and checked out genealogy search websites such as Ancestry and FindMyPast.
So what is the next step that you can take?
DNA testing of course!
DNA testing can help you break down brick walls that you may come across in the pursuit of building your family tree. Let’s face it though that if you have been researching your ancestry for a while now then you probably have encountered a number of these obstacles.
In this review I want to show you how Home DNA maybe the test for you. It all depends on you and your requirements, every one is of course different and require different outcomes from a test.
If you are new to DNA testing then please do not worry as I will go through the basics of DNA testing. Then I will go through how to take the test and how Home DNA can help you.
Credit: Home DNA
Topics discussed in this post:
- What Is DNA Genealogy Testing?
- Home DNA’s Competition
- How To Take The Test and Getting Your Results
- Home DNA Testing Kits That Are Available
- What About Your Privacy and Is Your Information Secure?
- Other Peoples Home DNA Testing Reviews
- Pros and Cons
- My Final Thoughts
Please note: This review will look at five test kits that are offered by the company Home DNA. If you were expecting other DNA testing kits to be reviewed here then I apologize.
You can check out the Best DNA Test Kits For Your Ancestry Research which looks at the top 5 testing kits that you can buy today!
What Is DNA Genealogy Testing?
Before I do delve into what Home DNA can offer you let us first look at what DNA is all about and the different kinds of tests that are available. After all you will ant to be sure you are getting what you paid for.
Let me first start off with the definition of DNA. Do you actually know what DNA is short?
Don’t worry there’s no test at the end of this review. I just thought that I would ask to see if you knew.
Let me put you out of your misery. DNA is short for DeoxyriboNucleic Acid and is a self-replicating material. You can find this in every living cell in the human body.
It is essentially the building blocks of life as it contains instructions on everything about us. It can describe what color are our eyes and our hair. And it can also tell us about our origins. That I just find amazing.
There are 3 different kinds of tests that can be conducted on our DNA.
3 different types of DNA testing!
- Autosomal DNA testing (atDNA) – This test is provided by all DNA testing companies and will look at your most recent ancestry. For this test both your paternal and maternal roots can be uncovered. However, it is only really accurate up to about 4 or 5 generations back.
- Mitochondrial DNA testing (mtDNA) – The next kind of test looks at your maternal ancestry, and so will look at your your mother’s, mother’s, mother’s, and so on. Despite looking at only one particularly line it can be very accurate and go back to about 25 generations back.
- Y-Chromosome DNA testing (yDNA) – The final kind of test is similar to the previous one. But of course this test will look at your paternal ancestry. Yes of course, your father’s, father’s, father’s, and so on. And again this testing can accurately show you your lineage to about 25 generations.
Home DNA do offer each of these tests, although these tests are not offered as a complete package. Other testing companies can give you all 3 tests under one deal though.
So it really does depend what you want from a test.
Autosomal DNA Testing Overview
Autosomal DNA testing can help you if:
- You are curious about your most recent ancestors, (accurate to about 5 generations).
- You want to connect with distant cousins.
- You want to learn about your family’s origins.
As I have mentioned all of the DNA testing companies today offer this kind of testing. And so it is the most basic test for you to buy.
It’s like dipping your toes into the water and seeing what all the fuss is about. Once you have learned what DNA testing can offer you then you can check to see what your maternal and paternal ancestry can tell you.
Anyway, back to Autosomal testing. As it is only accurate to about 5 generations then this will show you information up to your 3rd great grandparents.
You maybe wondering why this test isn’t as accurate the further back you go. And that would be a good question.
You take 1/2 of your genes from your father and 1/2 from your mother. Take this one step further and you will obviously get 1/4 of your genes from your grandparents, and then 1/8 from your great grandparents.
The genes are what carry a snippet of your parents DNA.
Please check out the Unexpected Ethnicity Results post from Ancestry which goes further into detail about this.
Simple answer, yes?
This will mean that the further back you go then the more diluted your results will be. And that is the problem with Autosomal testing. SO it is only really good for discovering your recent ancestry.
Mitochondrial DNA Testing Overview
Mitochondrial testing can help you if:
- You are curious about your maternal ancestry, as far back as 25 generations.
- You want to learn where your maternal ancestors originally came from.
This is a similar to test compared to Autosomal testing as it can be performed on both males and females. So there are no restrictions with this kind of testing.
Y-Chromosome DNA Testing Overview
Y-Chromosome testing can help you if:
- You are curious about your paternal ancestry, as far back as 25 generations.
- You want to learn where your paternal ancestors originally came from.
- You want to learn where your family name came from.
Unfortunately there is one restriction with this kind of testing. If you are a female then you will not be able to take the test, as it looks at the Y-Chromosome which is not present in females.
Therefore, you will need to ask a male relative to take the test for you. This is quite acceptable as you share the same DNA.
So you could ask your father, or your brother, or your father’s brother(s), or even their sons. Just not your own sons.
Home DNA’s Competition
I have discussed what kind of DNA tests are available and also stated that Home DNA can perform all three of these tests, (albeit individually).
But before I do go in to the specifics of Home DNA, I want to first show you how this company compares to the competition.
I do like that this company does offer all three of the tests. Some of the DNA testing kits available today only offer you the one, Autosomal. So that is one of the benefits of choosing this company.
Another benefit is that they promise to get your results back to you within 2 to 3 weeks. Pretty impressive right?
However, the price is a bit dearer compared to other companies, and you don’t get the option of getting all three tests within the one package.
Home DNA vs. 23andMe
Both of these companies do offer the full range of testing. But when it comes to learning about your maternal and paternal ancestry then Home DNA is the clear winner.
The reason for this is because 23andMe will base the results of the mtDNA and yDNA testing on the results learned from the atDNA testing. And so the results from this can be less accurate.
The benefit of choosing 23andMe though is that you can easily combine a health screening test as well. Home DNA do offer health tests but if you are tired of adding more and more tests then 23andMe maybe the one for you.
Home DNA vs. Ancestry
You may be surprised to learn that the biggest genealogy company in the world, Ancestry, only offer Autosomal testing. Despite this fact there are clear reasons why Ancestry may be the testing kit for you.
Because Ancestry is the world’s leading authority on genealogy then you will have access to billions of genealogy records within their databases. However, there is an additional cost to pay in order to access these records.
The second advantage of choosing Ancestry is that you will be able to connect with distant cousins. Something that Home DNA does not currently offer.
Home DNA vs. FamilyTreeDNA
These two companies are similar as you will have to pay for each of these three tests. There is no complete package.
The cheapest package though goes to Home DNA. And if you are serious about your genealogy research then Home DNA is the right choice for you as they cover more regions.
For that reason you will be able to pinpoint your ancestry much more precisely with Home DNA.
Home DNA vs. MyHeritage DNA
MyHeritage DNA is pretty much similar to Ancestry. Both of these companies offer only Autosomal testing. So if you do want to discover both your maternal and paternal ancestry then you should stick with Home DNA.
If you are only interested in learning about your most recent ancestry then again Home DNA will outshine MyHeritage with the accuracy of results. And you don’t have to wait as long for your results. Both of these companies give you a 3-4 waiting time.
MyHeritage though does connect you with a large collection of family history records. This is because this company originally began as a genealogy search website.
How To Take The Test and Getting Your Results
You will be presented with a barcode no matter which test that you purchase from this company. And this barcode will be used for you to connect your DNA sample and your Home DNA account.
So this does mean that you will need a computer in order to see your results.
You will also need to fill in a questionnaire which asks questions about your maternal and paternal ancestry. I do advise that you answer these questions fully as they will help with the outcome of your results.
The more information that you provide then the more refined your results will be.
Home DNA test kits are very easy for both children and the elderly as well. This is because testing is conducted by a simple cheek swab.
Receiving your DNA kit!
When you DNA test kit arrives you will receive a set of instructions, two cheek swabs, and an envelope to send back your sample.
Unfortunately there is no vial included in the kit so you will need to put the cheek swabs loose in the envelope. Make sure therefore that they do not become contaminated before you mail them.
The instructions state that you will need to swab your cheeks for between 30 to 60 seconds for each cheek. The longer the duration then obviously the better the results.
DO NOT forget to link your sample with your Home DNA account. Failure to do this will mean that you will not be able to retrieve your results.
Get the sample right!
There are a few conditions to adhere to when taking a DNA test. This will mean that you cannot eat, drink or smoke at least 30 minutes prior to taking the test.
You should also not brush your teeth or chew gum. And to be extra cautious please do not stand next to someone who is smoking.
Following there rules will mean that your DNA sample should be free of any contamination, and that you will get the best results possible.
Getting your results!
The waiting time of your results will depend on which test that you have purchased.
- Uploading raw DNA data – Within 24 hours
- GPS Origins Ancestry Test – 2-3 weeks
- Starter Kit – 3 weeks
- Maternal Lineage and Paternal Lineage – 6-8 weeks
If you have already taken a DNA test with another company then you can easily upload your raw DNA data to see what Home DNA makes of your sample. You can expect to receive you results within 24 hours. That’s pretty impressive.
However, at this time you will not be able to upload your 23andMe DNA V5 results. Home DNA are working on this but as yet I have not seen when you will be able to upload these results.
Once your DNA results are available you will be notified by email. So again I urge you to link your sample with your account. Otherwise you will not be able to retrieve your results.
Home DNA Testing Kits That Are Available!
There are 5 different tests kits that you can choose to purchase from Home DNA. Each of them are different in their own way and will depend on your circumstances.
Upload Your Raw DNA – $69 – Within 24 hours!
If you have already taken a DNA test before, (through another company), then this one is for you. You therefore do not need to purchase the GPS Origins Ancestry Test and provide yet another sample of your DNA.
You are therefore just uploading your DNA and seeing what Home DNA gives back to you. Please make sure that your raw data is in the form of either a .zip or .gz file.
Even though it is stated that you will get your results within 24 hours I have seen it mention that it was more like 5 to 15 minutes. Really fast hey?!
GPS Origins Ancestry Test – $199 – 2-3 Weeks!
This is the most expensive of the tests but it can tell you quite a lot of information that you can use to research your ancestors. The real advantage of this test is the pinpoint accuracy of the results.
Most of the DNA testing kits available today divide the world into regions. This can be a good thing as you can sort of zone in on where your ancestors came from.
However, to get a better picture of better results GPS Origins gives more precise information. This is made possible by using a new ancestral tracking technique to give you these results.
In order to do this 800,000 of your genetic markers are tested and compared against 862 reference populations. Testing against so many reference populations may mean that you can find out which town or even village your ancestors came from.
Your results will be divided into two sections, Gene Pool Percentages and DNA Migration Routes.
Your Top Gene Pools!
Through this test you will get results of the top 3 gene pools where your ancestors came from. Each gene pool is denoted by a separate color so you can clearly see on the map where your ancestors originally came from.
The more intense a color is will mean that your ancestors will most likely have come from that particular area.
You will also be presented with a list of your top 10 gene pools. There is also information on the areas where your ancestors came from, (these gene pools). Information included about the land, economy, the agriculture and also migration of its people.
If you’re not sure what a gene pool is well it is a population of people that have had limited interactions with the outside world. Which therefore can show you where your ancestors originally came from.
Your Ancestors Migration Routes!
Following on from learning about your gene pools you can also discover your ancestors migration paths. This feature is great as it can help you to understand any anomalies you may have had with other testing kits.
Here you will get an understanding from the migration map created for you how both your maternal and paternal lines moved around the world. So you don’t get one migration route but two!
Unfortunately though GPS Origins cannot differentiate between the two of them. But to make it clear to you that they are two completely branches of your ancestry one is colored blue while the other is red. Maybe in time science will be able to differentiate between them.
The map is interactive so you can zoom in and get information on the pins that are dropped on the map. They’re sort of like the markers you find on Google Maps.
These pins or markers are turning points in your family’s history. They are essentially a crossroad in your ancestry where there is an ethnic mix.
And what’s great about this feature is that you can learn about the history of the area at the time of migration. Therefore you can learn why your ancestors had to travel.
I like this because as I have traced my family history I have wondered why they would suddenly move hundreds of miles from their previous location. The history of the area can therefore help you understand the reasoning behind this.
Starter Kit – $69 – 3 Weeks!
This is the most basic of the tests that is offered by Home DNA. This test will look at 100 markers in your DNA to show you were your ancestors originally came from.
Your DNA will then be compared to the populations of today to help identify the people with whom you share DNA with.
It is therefore a test that will connect your past with the present.
Maternal Lineage and Paternal Lineage – $69 – 6-8 Weeks!
Please be advised that these are two separate DNA testing kits and not one complete package!
Maternal Lineage – Mitochondrial DNA Testing (mtDNA)
As mentioned earlier in this review your maternal lineage will only look at one line of your ancestry. And therefore this test will look at your mother’s mother’s mother and so on.
What you get from this test is your maternal haplogroup. This is just a term that groups certain people with the same genetic markers as yourself.
It therefore can show you where where your maternal line originated from. This is possible because along this line the mtDNA that is passed down through the generations is virtually unchanged.
This test will also give you a map that will show your ancestors’ journey, and also where they initially settled in the old world.
Paternal Lineage – Y-Chromosome DNA Testing (yDNA)
Through this test you will discover your paternal line ancestry. Similar to the Maternal Lineage test you will discover your paternal haplogroup.
Because females don’t carry the Y-Chromosome it is not possible for them to take the test. This though does not mean that you can’t get results from this test.
You can ask your father or your brother to take the test for you. As you share DNA with these closest male relatives the results that you will get back will be quite helpful with your genealogy research.
What About Your Privacy and Is Your Information Secure?
When you are giving your most vital information to someone you want to be assured that that information is secure. And that is exactly what Home DNA guarantee.
Only you can access your information using a secure network. And no one in the lab can link you with your DNA due to the practice of using barcodes when providing DNA samples.
Your details will never be passed on to a third party. However, aggregate anonymous data maybe used for research or marketing purposes in order for Home DNA to improve on their commitment of service to you.
In the event of a company merger or sale of the Home DNA company though your information will be passed on.
Other Peoples Home DNA Testing Reviews
After reading thus far you will now know what Home DNA has to offer and which testing kit is right for you. There are a few to choose from so I hope that I have made your choice a little easier.
Before you do make your decision though you may want to consider what other people think of Home DNA. After all it is only fair to see what other people are saying about this company.
For that reason why not check out DNA Testing Choice. Here you will find a guide to nearly 40 different DNA testing companies, with also customer reviews as well.
Home DNA did perform well and currently sits at #6 with the GPS Origins testing kit. So it must be doing something right, hey?
But what do the general public think about the product?
Most of the people that have reviewed this particular kit gave a favorable review. There have only been 28 reviews submitted so far, but I think out of nearly 40 kits that you can buy being at #6 is a good achievement.
Customers were quite impressed with the accuracy of the results. Although they did comment on it could be an add-on to what DNA results you already have.
What I mean by that is that some people purchased their test kit from another company and then uploaded their results, which is a cheaper option.
However, not all companies get favorable feedback and Home DNA is no exception. There were a number of people that were not happy about the results that they received.
Most of the disgruntled felt that their results contradicted with what they already knew or were not accurate enough. While some people complained that not enough information was given past the top 3 gene pools.
Pros and Cons
✔ Discover the origins of your ancestors in more detail than other companies
✔ Can show historical migration of your ancestors
✔ Provides information as to why your ancestors migrated
✔ Break down brick walls
❌ Difficult to understand which test to go for if unfamiliar with DNA testing
❌ No complete package
❌ No connecting with distant relatives
❌ GPS Origins is quite expensive compared to other companies
My Final Thoughts on Home DNA
Home DNA is quite different to all the other DNA testing companies as it can clue you in on your ancestors migration. The added stories that go with these journeys can shed some light on why they had to travel.
I like this because this is quite unique as none of them offer this feature. In that regard Home DNA does add a new dimension to DNA testing, even though the GPS Origins test is significantly more expensive than other tests available.
The waiting time though is more reasonable compared to other companies. Depending on which test kit that you do buy from Home DNA you can wait as little as 2 weeks or as long as 8 weeks. That’s not really bad as one company make you wait 12 weeks.
The downfall with this is that you cannot connect with distant relatives like you can with other kits. But maybe that is something that can be done in the future. After all you can learn a lot from your relatives about your ancestry
So do I recommend Home DNA?
Well if you want to discover the origins of your ancestors and learn about their journey to the new world then yes I do recommend Home DNA!
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
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