When you want to take a DNA test, it can be hard to find a company to go with, especially since there’s just so much choice out there. HomeDNA Direct is what’s known as a ‘direct-to-consumer’ genetic testing company, and it was founded in 2017.
Their parent company, DNA Diagnostics Center, is a forensic testing company that was created in 1995 and is currently situated in Ohio. They have decades of experience and currently own over 20,000 genetic testing locations worldwide.
In this guide, we’re going to be taking a look at HomeDNA and what they offer. Having carried out over 10 million home DNA kits (and counting) they’ve grown quickly over a short time span, and offer a variety of tests, including health, paternity, ancestry, and even health.
Read on to learn more about HomeDNA!
HomeDNA Company Background
HomeDNA’s mission is to ‘empower you with valuable information contained in your own DNA.’ Like we briefly mentioned above, HomeDNA was founded in 2017, and makes home-genetic testing easy, accessible, and affordable.
Whether you want to figure out which skin care products you need, what steps you need to take to lose weight, or you simply want to learn more about your heritage, HomeDNA prides themselves on being able to give you ‘new insights into yourself, improve your quality of life and help you have fun making new discoveries.’
They’re owned by DNA Diagnostics Centre, which was founded in 1995. DDC was founded on the idea that technological advancements in DNA testing should be affordable for all, and they have built a strong foundation based upon reliability, innovation, and value. DDC also ensures that all DNA test results remain confidential, and that information is never sold on to third parties for marketing purposes or other reasons.
Regardless of which kit you choose, HomeDNA follows a similar process for each one. As you have selected which kit you’d like, the package will be delivered to you.
It will come with simple-to-follow instructions, a pre-paid postage envelope, and cheek swabs that can be used to take the DNA/saliva samples.
As soon as you send your DNA sample back to HomeDNA, their qualified laboratory technicians will test more than 80,000 unique genetic markers in order to provide you with a detailed report back.
HomeDNA Bestselling DNA Tests
HomeDNA offers a great variety of tests, and these span across animals, health and beauty, wellness, ancestry, and paternity.
In this article, we’re going to be providing you with some insight on what a selection of their bestselling kits offers. Let’s check them out below:
Starter Ancestry Set
HomeDNA’s Starter Ancestry Test is the most affordable of them all, and uses the power of DNA to help discover where your ancestors came from, as well as discovering the current reference population groups with which you have the most in common - gene-wise!
The process for this test couldn’t be easier, all that is needed is DNA from a quick cheek swab, which will give their lab all they need to compare it against the population of the world.
The report you’ll get back with this test will also show you which of today’s world regions most resemble your DNA. It’s a great way to learn more about where you come from and is ideal for anyone who is trying ancestry DNA testing out for the first time.
GPS Origins Ancestry Test
This is one of HomeDNA’s bestselling kits and is a slight upgrade to the standard ancestry kit we covered above.
In this particular test, HomeDNA will use your DNA to gather information, utilizing 80,000 genetic markers (which is the highest we’ve ever seen) and cross-checking 1,000 reference populations to create a detailed report about where your family’s DNA has originated from.
This test may also be able to indicate the town or villages in which your ancestors lived, which will help you to build a rich picture of the different journeys your ancestors undertook.
The results will take 6 weeks to complete, but if you’re interested in gaining a richer understanding of your ancestors, then this is the perfect test to check out.
Maternal Lineage Test
Next up, this company also offers maternal lineage testing! If you’re only interested in learning about one side of your family, or you simply want a broader understanding of your heritage, then you might want to check out this test.
The maternal lineage test will give you the chance to trace the steps that your ancestors from your mother's side of the family took many years ago.
The results will be available to you in 6 weeks, and they will allow you to accurately identify which regions your maternal ancestors settled and traveled through years ago. It’s an ideal choice for anyone looking to learn more about their ancestry on their birth mother’s side.
Paternal Lineage Test
Alongside maternal lineage, you can also test your paternal lineage, which is another way to gain a more detailed insight into one side of your family’s ancestry.
The paternal lineage test will allow you to trace the ancient ancestry of your father’s side of the family.
As soon as you have taken your saliva sample and sent it back to the lab for testing, HomeDNA lab workers will begin an in-depth analysis of the Y chromosome, which will be able to reveal crucial information about your paternal ancestry inside your DNA.
It’s a great option for anyone that wants to learn more about their father’s side of the family.
Another popular test this company offers is the paternity test, which is suited to those who want the peace of mind of finally knowing.
If you choose HomeDNA, you’ll be able to take the test with the confidence that the test will provide definite answers, with no room for interpretation or second-guessing.
If the alleged father is the biological father, their results will show a probability of 99.99%. However, if the alleged father is not, in fact, the biological father, then the results will show a definitive probability of 0%.
Though this test will not be accepted in a court of law as sufficient evidence, it’s a good choice for anyone that simply wants to get an answer.
Healthy Weight Test
In addition to the more standard, traditional DNA tests, HomeDNA also offers a weight test. This test is scientifically based and uses your unique genetic makeup to provide you with tailored exercise suggestions and diet ideas specifically suited to your genotype.
Just like the other types of tests, all you will need to do is order the test, provide a saliva cheek swab and send it back to the lab in the pre-paid envelope.
Within weeks, you will receive a tailored report unique to your genetic makeup, as well as personalized nutrition and fitness recommendations that will work best for you and your individual body type.
Another interesting and innovative test that HomeDNA offers is the skincare test.
This test is a science-based DNA test that will be able to accurately identify your skin’s genetic potential in seven key areas, which are:
- Collagen Quality,
- Skin Elasticity
- Fine Lines & Wrinkles
- Sun Protection
- Skin Antioxidants
- Skin Sensitivity
Taking this test couldn’t be easier, all you need to do is place an order or purchase one from your local drug store, and then provide the DNA sample from the comfort of your very own home.
As soon as the results are ready for you to view, you will be able to access a comprehensive genetic report from the lab on your computer.
It will provide you with tailored information and personalized recommendations (all based on your unique DNA) in order to help you understand topical ingredients, supplement ingredients, and professional treatments will be best suited to you.
It’s the perfect way to build your perfect skincare routine, and we think it’s suited to adult men and women of all ages.
The DNA Results Process
As soon as you have sent off your sample to the lab, you will receive a notification as soon as it arrives, as well as when the results are ready.
As soon as your results are waiting to be viewed, all you will need to do is log into HomeDNA’s website, and press the link in the top right.
This will lead you to your account, where you can view your personal report. HomeDNA will give you two options of either viewing the results via the website or download the data as a saved file on your computer.
If you’re already familiar with AncestryDNA or 23andMe, you’ll notice that HomeDNA presents their data a little differently to them both.
For the ancestry tests, while AncestryDNA and 23andMe focus on countries, HomeDNA considers gene pool regions, which means that you’ll be given a percentage breakdown of the places in the world that you are most connected to.
Unfortunately, as HomeDNA is a relatively new company, its database and records do not go as far back as say, AncestryDNA does, but it still offers you enough information to gain a good insight into your gene pool.
There is also an interactive map, in which you will be able to zoom in and out and move it around to discover the different stops along your ancestor’s migration root. As for the health and beauty tests, HomeDNA will notify you when the results are ready.
Just like the ancestry tests, you will be able to access your report via HomeDNA’s website, in which you can either view the results online or download the report and view it as a file on your computer.
In addition to the report, HomeDNA will provide you with helpful insights on how to reach your goal weight, or how to keep your skin in optimum condition.
HomeDNA will also ask you to carry out three optional questionnaires about you and your parent’s personal history, in order to give HomeDNA the chance to refine their testing process and gather more data to improve their service.
HomeDNA Advantages and Drawbacks
To help you make the most educated decision on whether or not to go with this DNA testing company, in this section we’re going to be outlining some of HomeDNA’s advantages and drawbacks.
Keep reading to check them out.
- The tests can be purchased at all drug stores such CVS and Walgreens across the United States, making it convenient to purchase them. You can also order kits online.
- All of the health and beauty tests come with helpful recommendations in order to maintain health and help you achieve your goals.
- They are owned by DCC, which has decades of experience.
- HomeDNA offers friendly and helpful customer service.
- Their website contains an FAQs section to answer common questions you may have.
- Advanced laboratory facilities, and a team of qualified, well-trained lab technicians.
- Their Ancestry results, in particular their HomeDNA Starter Ancestry Test, is not overly detailed.
- Unlike other companies, their tests and online resources will not allow you to find relatives based on genetic matches, or build a family tree.
- HomeDNA may use your ‘anonymous’ data for marketing purposes.
- Their website lacks additional information via blog posts, articles, etc.
On their website, HomeDNA clearly states that it does not, and will never, sell your private information to third parties for marketing purposes. In addition to this, all of your raw DNA information can be destroyed upon your request, at any time.
However, it is important to be aware that HomeDNA can create anonymous data by removing information, such as your full name.
In recent times, there has been much controversy about whether genetic data can ever truly be ‘anonymized’ and so this is something to keep in mind before you decide to share your information with them. HomeDNA also states that it reserves the right to use all anonymous data for any purpose.
HomeDNA has also stated that though they will never sell your information, they may share all of your information with its parent company and affiliates for a variety of reasons, including for marketing purposes.
With regards to their data security, HomeDNA further states that, though DDC will attempt to protect all of the personal information in its possession, DDC cannot promise that personal information will remain absolutely secure in every circumstance.
If at any point you have any questions that you would like to raise to HomeDNA, you can contact their customer service team, who will be more than happy to assist you. They have created their very own FAQs page, which answers all common questions.
However, if you have any personal questions that you would like answered, you can reach them via their phone number, which operates between the hours 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday to Friday, or you can send them an email, in which HomeDNA states that their ‘highly trained team’ will be able to assist you.
We’ve checked out a variety of customer reviews, and HomeDNA has received mainly positive feedback from consumers, with many people stating that all of their answers were answered promptly and that the customer service team is extremely personable and friendly.
Unfortunately, HomeDNA doesn’t seem to offer the same amount of blog posts and articles that provide helpful information about understanding your DNA better.
In our opinion, we think it’s clear to see why HomeDNA has made so much growth in such a short amount of time.
They offer a variety of DNA testing kits, have a qualified team of laboratory workers who are experts in their field, and offer a highly friendly and personalized service.
The main issue we can take from HomeDNA is that they share anonymous data at their own discretion and, as we said above, there’s an ongoing debate about whether or not one’s DNA can ever truly be anonymous.
Nevertheless, you will have total autonomy over the sample you give, and can always request HomeDNA to destroy your raw DNA at any time, something which we think is very important.
It’s also worth noting that HomeDNA tests up to 80,000 markers during the lab testing process, which is significantly higher than any other company we’ve come across.
Pair that with their team of skilled genealogy technicians and qualified lab facility, and it’s easy to see why so many people choose them.
So, should you go with them? At the end of the day, it’s no secret that DNA testing companies keep your DNA on record unless you specifically request them to destroy it.
However, there are other companies in a similar league to HomeDNA that do not share your information under any circumstances, though HomeDNA’s rigorous testing process ensures almost foolproof accuracy.
All in all, HomeDNA is a reliable DNA testing company and, while we may recommend using them for their industry knowledge and stellar service, we also recommend that you make sure you read their fine print, too.