Genetics Digest aims to provide you with helpful information about DNA analysis and Genome Technology advancements. We are affiliated with CRI Genetics.
Something started you on your search. That pressing need to know:
"Who were my ancestors?"
Perhaps it began with a news story, or a question asked at dinner. Maybe you’ve been on this search for some time now. The urge to know your past can be strong, and it grows.
Fortunately, your ancestors left you clues… deep within every cell of your body.
These clues are your special ties to your family tree.
Through vast migrations, fires, floods, droughts, and plagues, they held on and survived. You exist at this very moment in time because of them.
Yet you’ve never had a chance to get to know your ancestors.
So, who are your ancestors? How can you decipher the code they left behind, which reveals their amazing story and a more complete picture of your family tree?
One solution is DNA testing. Its popularity has exploded in recent years, with the total number of people tested by consumer genetics companies doubling in 2021, according to an MIT study. This DNA boom has made genetic testing one of the hottest conversation starters at dinner tables and water coolers across the world.
The DNA market doubled in 2021—
for the 5th year in a row
It’s no surprise that DNA tests are in high demand. The things you learn from them are irresistible:
Family History—Many ancestry tests allow you to trace your family back much farther than traditional genealogy records. A select few even give you deeper detail about your family.
Ancestry—You can also use your DNA to figure out where you and your family came from. With more advanced tests, you can even find out WHEN your family arrived in certain locations.
Personal Identity—On top of these first two benefits, digging into your family history and ancestry enables you to find out more about who you are personally.
Health Info—While the main draw is ancestry, you can also use DNA testing to uncover important health information. The best DNA tests will enable you to lose weight, optimize your vitamin routine, and even learn about what traits you inherited from your parents.
Community—Finally, the communities you can build with ancestry testing are incredible. You may discover relatives you didn’t know you had, countries you didn’t know you were a part of, even royal dynasties you’re descended from. The possibilities are endless.
How Do You Know Which DNA Test is Right for You?
With so many people clamoring to get their hands on the benefits listed above, more and more DNA testing companies have been rising to meet them.
Each DNA test has different strengths and weaknesses, and each company spends millions on marketing to make sure you’ve heard of them.
That’s why we’ve compiled 3 of the most popular DNA tests, along with user reviews and criteria.
First, let’s get started on the 3 Essential Tips You Must Know Before Buying a DNA Test…
Tip #1: Buy from a Company That Protects Your Data.
Some brands have a great marketing team with a massive advertising budget. You might see/hear their ads everywhere. That’s because they’re spending millions to make sure you’ve heard of them.
Despite the great marketing, some of those companies have subpar services at best. They’re more worried about making a sale than they are with actually delivering a quality product. In short, these companies focus on business rather than science, and frequently aren’t backed by leading geneticists.
To make matters worse, some of the biggest ancestry companies are owned in part by pharmaceutical giants or data companies—meaning your personal DNA information may be handed over to corporations to turn a profit.
The best genetics companies have top-notch data security, and are 100% privately owned, meaning they don’t answer to investors. Instead, they answer to you, the customer. Look for a company renowned for their data security and professional pedigree.
Tip #2: Find a Test That Reveals When and Where Your Ancestors Appeared.
One of the most common complaints we see from ancestry customers is that their results “fall flat”—you get a basic pie chart breakdown of where your ancestors are from, but a disappointing amount of information about how or why you got those results. And we all know that ancestry is more than just a bunch of boring percentages.
The best DNA tests feature an Ancestry Timeline that tells you not only where your ancestors are from, but how and when they got there, enabling you to form a clearer, fuller picture of your family history. These top-quality tests give you the best of both worlds of broad genetic results and deeper ancestry detail.
Tip #3: Follow the Science and the Genetic Experts.
On a similar note to our #1 tip, you don’t want to go for the loudest, flashiest DNA brand—instead, look for true experts in the field of genetics. After all, you want highly qualified scientists and researchers handling your DNA, not a bunch of college kids at a startup. Fortunately, the best DNA companies are headed by genetic experts, who have literally decades of experience in the genetics field.
Experts are not only more knowledgeable about your DNA—they also tend to be far more responsible than companies who are just looking to make a quick buck. These genetic investigators have dedicated their lives to helping you find out the meaning behind your DNA and family history, and they won’t rest until their customers’ curiosity is satisfied. If you want your burning questions about your DNA and family history answered, make sure you find a company with professional scientists in charge.
The Top 3 DNA Tests According to Customers Like You
Now you know what to look out for, we want to reveal which DNA test is the highest-rated according to customers like you on top review platforms like Facebook and Google.
Without further ado, here are the top 3 DNA Tests according to real customers.
Customers Tended to Rank DNA Tests According to these 8 Factors:
From the detail and length of its up-to-50 generation timelines, to the everyday help its 100+ health reports can provide you, you can’t go wrong with CRI Genetics. A commitment to customer privacy and an 8-Week Efficiency Guarantee don’t hurt either! Here are some of the reasons to consider CRI Genetics for YOUR next DNA test.
CRI Genetics is headed by Dr. Alexei Fedorov, Ph.D, a renowned genetic scientist with a reputation for leading exceptional studies in genetic science. While most genetic testing services rely on other people’s past research to produce their ancestry reports, CRI Genetics relies on an expert currently active in the field of genetic science, with 80+ papers published and 3,000+ citations to date.1
Dr. Fedorov was mentored by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Walter Gilbert, and he has gone on to spearhead many genetic studies of his own. CRI Genetics has established itself as a company which deeply values quality of service. CRI is also the only DNA testing company to offer an Efficiency Guarantee.
If you want a company that puts extreme importance on data security and encryption, look no further than CRI Genetics. Even better, CRI is 100% privately owned, which means CRI does NOT answer to investors, and do not share data with pharma companies OR the government. In a crowded market, this is one leading company that ancestry enthusiasts can trust.
Details/Accuracy of Reports:
CRI Genetics currently offers 5 unique ancestry reports that are generated using a proprietary DNA analysis algorithm created by Dr. Fedorov. Your report features not only a basic geographical breakdown of your ancestry, but also a deeply detailed Ancestry Timeline that shows you where your ancestors are from and how and when they got there, going back up to 50 generations. See Full Report Here
Ancestry.com has been in business for a long time, which has allowed them to learn from mistakes and slowly acquire a large base of customers from their genealogy services. This has made them one of the top players in DNA Testing.
Ancestry Publishing was founded in 1983 and eventually grew into a genealogy service, allowing customers to sort through historical records to fill out family trees. AncestryDNA wasn't launched as a service until 2012.2
Ancestry.com has an “informed consent research” clause in their service. You can opt out, but it’s easy to miss, and plenty of customers have realized too late that their data is being used in genetic research.
Ancestry was recently acquired by Blackstone, a large investment firm, after years of ownership by AOL, Compaq, and even GIC, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation.3 This is a potential red flag that customer’s data may not be as secure or private as they might like.4
Details/Accuracy of Reports:
Ancestry DNA’s greatest strengths lie in the size of their customer base and in their genealogy service that allows you to search through historical records to fill out your Family Tree. However, you will have to disclose some personal information in order to get access to these social resources. Overall, a good resource for genealogy—but not the best DNA test on the market. View Full Report
23andMe boasts one of the most detailed Ancestry Reports, as well as in-depth health reports. They also have an ancestry timeline, but it features far less depth and detail than CRI Genetics, only going back 8 generations at most.5
23andMe was founded in 2006 by Anne Wojcicki, Linda Avey, and Paul Cusenza. Their goal is to “help people access, understand, and benefit from the human genome.”6 To date, they have published more than 100 peer-reviewed studies in scientific journals.7
One of 23andMe’s main corporate connections is with GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical company that has been implicated in numerous scandals, including false claims suits.8 Not only that, but 23andMe also recently opted to go public through a SPAC backed by Virgin Mobile founder Richard Branson.9 All of which can bring up privacy and data security concerns with potential customers.10
Details/Accuracy of Reports:
Today, 23andMe is one of the top players in the DNA testing market. Their Ancestry reports come with above average detail and accuracy. View Full Report
Genetics Digest aims to educate consumers about the benefits of DNA testing. We believe it is the future of family research, nutrition, health, wellness and deeper self-knowledge. We are affiliated with CRI Genetics.