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LivingDNA Review

article by Sandra Trentino author June 27, 2019
our score
In this LivingDNA review we look at their DNA heritage test; a service which has extensive features and collaborations with partners including Family Tree DNA and Scotlands DNA to give you plain-language analysis of your DNA test results using visual tools which display the history of your genome.
pros
  • One Fee To Access All Features
  • You Can Have Your Ancestry Made Into A Table-Top Book
  • Visual Tools To Help You Understand Your Ancestry
  • Collaboration With Leading Scientists And Academics
  • Ancestry Pinpointed To Specific Regions
  • Guaranteed Privacy Protection
cons
  • Limited DNA Services Offered
  • Extra Fee For Hard-Copy DNA Test Results
  • Lack Of Features For Self-Guided Research
To help make understanding [your] data easy, LivingDNA provides a plain language analysis combined with visual tools displaying the history of your entire genome.
Sandra Trentino, author
Combination of DNA Twice the Detail of Other Ancestry Tests
Combination of DNA View Your Ancestry Through History
80X80_DNA4 State of the Art Testing
Syncronization Free Future Ancestry Updates
80X80_DNA90 3-in-1 Ancestry Test

Living DNA was founded in 2016, by the same group of people who founded DNA Worldwide. This specific company focusses on giving users a chance to test their genetic ancestries. Their founding company, DNA Worldwide, has sold many different types of genetic tests, and have collaborated with other DNA companies as well to create even more variations of DNA testing.

Ease of Use Ease of Use

This ancestry DNA kit is simple to use, and we think that’s what makes this one of the most popular DNA analysis brands online. It’s fast and easy to order your LivingDNA kit. Just follow the link on the company website and it will take you to a page asking whether you would like a personalized DNA ancestry book for an extra $50. Once the order has been placed the DNA analysis kit will be delivered to your door within a week; it’s now ready to use. The whole process for the LivingDNA kit is very user-friendly and the next stage is to activate your personal kit online and then take two simple cheek swabs which then need to be placed into sealed vials and mailed back to the laboratory for testing. The hard part of this process is waiting…which can take up to 12 weeks.

process for the LivingDNA kit is very user-friendly and the next stage is to activate your personal kit online and then take two simple cheek swabs which then need to be placed into sealed vials and mailed back to the laboratory for testing. The hard part of this process is waiting…which can take up to 12 weeks.

Once the test arrives there are several options available to you: you can view your entire genetic makeup (family DNA), maternal, or paternal lineage. This ancestry DNA kit is great for giving you an overall look at your ethnic background going back 10 generations. The kit even breaks this down into geographic regions where your ancestors lived depending on where your ancestry is based (Britain includes 21 regions).

What makes this ancestry DNA kit stand out is that it actually shows you your lineage for a further 10 generations, tracing your deep ancestry to its historic roots. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds either, as LivingDNA presents its analysis in simple language and combines this with visual tools to make reading your data easy for everyone. To give an example the Through-History analysis is an interactive map where you can trace your personal ancestral movements across the world. You’ll also find Migration Map as well as other tools that really bring your ancestry to life.

Another feature that’s definitely worth a mention in this LivingDNA review is the fact that the company is in close collaboration with various educational and academic programs. This means that if you agree to have your data used, it will help future studies of humanity and genetics.

80X80_DNA90 Tests

It wouldn’t be a fair review if we didn’t mention the fact that the services offered are fairly narrow. If you are the type of person who is looking to build your own family tree then you’ll be disappointed as the LivingDNA user database is limited, to say the least. This isn’t the right company for that type of research. The company also does not provide health DNA screening or paternity tests. Pet DNA testing is something you will also have to source elsewhere!

What LivingDNA does provide, however, is a solid academic relationship to scientific study, DNA test results that date back at least 10 generations and highly-detailed results that are often broken down into specific regions of countries. What’s even more impressive is their use of interactive visual aids to make reading the DNA data easy to understand.

LivingDNA Kit

Privacy Privacy

One of the pros of using LivingDNA is its promise of absolute privacy. Users’ information is posted online after the DNA results have been determined but only users can safely access this information. The lab where LivingDNA obtains its information is the notable Eurofins Laboratory in Denmark and when they receive your sample, no personal data that could identify you is attached to the sample. The company also doesn’t use any third party organizations. Your data is for your eyes only and any information contained can only ever be used for research purposes if you give your full consent.

Features and Specifications Tests

As mentioned earlier, the DNA ancestry report that you are given is simple to understand and this is largely due to the language used. You’ll find no scientific jargon within your report and instead be presented with a plain-language online report (or hard-copy if you have paid the extra fee) using various interactive tools to help illustrate the findings and bring them to life.

LivingDNA takes complicated genetic material and turns this into an informative report that can be used in a number of different formats which give information on your entire genetic makeup, paternal, or maternal lineage. By the end of the report you will be able to see where your ethnic roots are based and, in some cases, specifically down to the region where they originate. As an added bonus you also get an interactive map which shows you a visual representation of your ancestors’ movements and a phylogenetic tree option which basically helps you to understand the migration of your maternal and paternal lineages.

Pricing Pricing

The LivingDNA ancestry report costs $114.00 and for this price you’ll get free postage (when you send your samples back to the laboratory) and an online report to keep. Should you wish to receive a hard-copy of your DNA test results there’s an option for a personalized DNA ancestry book for an additional $50.

Support

There is a very thorough and searchable help center available for you if you have any questions. The broad topics include the history and LivingDNA and how its test are conducted, inquiries about ordering and shipment, help with interpreting the results of your tests, and privacy concerns. We generally found that nearly all of the most frequently asked questions about a DNA heritage test can be answered here. However, if you need to contact someone from support directly, there are phone, email, and regular post mail options to do so.

Bottom Line Bottom Line

For us, LivingDNA is one of the best genetic testing kits on the market. Utilizing some of the most advanced DNA testing methods, this ancestry DNA kit offers a number of different features that really make it stand out, which include the ability to search your paternal or maternal lineage and being able to search your genetic makeup down to the specific region in some instances.

Usability is fantastic too, the way that the results are presented makes your ancestry easy to understand and the interactive tools add a nice additional element to this, too. We found the entire process from start to finish easy to use from the purchase, through to the testing (simple cheek swabs) and results. We like the fact that you can opt into scientific studies while feeling confident that your private details are completely safe.

Support available was excellent and we found that most customer queries were answered in the online help center. The price for the LivingDNA test is reasonable at $114.00 (especially for the amount of detail that goes into the DNA results), but we would rather not have to pay extra for the hard-copy. All in all, we recommend LivingDNA test kits.

17 comments
Cody says:

I’ve developed a hobby for archeological news now. Nice to see how we are all connected.

Anthony E. says:

Research options are definitely neat. Would have liked to get more family history but they are good at what they say they are good at.

Johnathan L. says:

Is the EuroFins lab accredited in the US?

Latisha says:

Got my kit in 4 days. Thanks!

Michael Wood says:

Would you recommend this service as the best for someone who only wants to know their cultural heritage and doesn’t care about a specific family tree?

Gillian says:

Blown away by LivingDNA. My partner got me a kit for Christmas as he knows how much I love exploring heritage. I was incredibly shocked with the results, it linked me to regions I had no idea about!! Since this discovery I’ve been able to piece together parts of my family history that we thought had been lost forever!

Jackie L says:

Signed up for this assuming I’d be able to connect with distant family members, but no such luck. Is there a partner service or something where I can find information for my specific family tree?

JT says:

How is it possible to know all this stuff from a cheek swab?? I’m finding it hard to believe.

MaryBeth says:

What kinds of extra records are available and what is the price?

Kelly says:

I’m just not sure I’m ready to spend money on this. It may be a competitive price, but it’s still an investment.

Lorraine says:

I think it would be such a treat to be able to actually see a physical representation of my family tree that goes back generations!

Logan says:

What is the point of using this service if you can’t connect directly with family members?

EMily says:

I know in my case, my mother was adopted and has zero interest in finding her birth family. I could do this test and find out where I come from without connecting her to anyone she never wanted to know about.

Nancy says:

Is two months a normal timeframe to have one of these tests done? Seems like that they would be a bit faster, especially for the price involved. Are there any other services that are faster or is two months the norm?

BJ says:

So you pay $159 and then have to pay more for a hard copy? Might be worth it if the report is spectacular, but seems they could give you a hard copy for free. Either that or you just figure out a way to copy it from the computer and make your own hard copy.

Gordon says:

If you can’t build your family tree bit by bit as this review claims, then why use it? Seems like other services would be more beneficial. Also seems a bit contradictory. You say you can see your DNA through history but you can’t build your family tree. What’s up with that?

Dan says:

Ever see that commercial about the guy who thought he was German but was actually Irish? I had similar happen except I thought I was Italian and turns out that I am over half Native American! How crazy is that? These DNA tests can reveal some crazy things.