LivingDNA Review

article by Hector A. author April 30, 2017
our score
Beyond its extensive features, LivingDNA’s collaboration with other partners including Family Tree DNA and Scotlands DNA illustrates its commitment to giving you the most completely picture of your genes possible.
pros
  • Visual representation of your ancestry
  • Pinpoint your origins to highly specific regions
  • Complete and total privacy protection
  • Single price to access all features
  • Close collaboration with academic and scientific research
cons
  • Fewer features available for self-guided research
  • Hard copy results cost extra
  • No feature for finding family members
To help make understanding [your] data easy, LivingDNA provides a plain language analysis combined with visual tools displaying the history of your entire genome.
Hector A., 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

Ease of Use Ease of Use

LivingDNA’s DNA test kit offers an extremely user friendly experience. Simply head to the website, order a kit, and it will be delivered to your door in under a week. After the test is complete (a simple swab of the cheek – no needles required) just mail it back. The results will be available online in approximately two months. There is also the option to have a hard copy mailed to you as well.

Whatever format you choose, you can view your ancestry results in terms of your entire genetic makeup, your paternal lineage, or your maternal lineage. The combination of these makes it very easy for you to get a full picture of what your family history is. For starters, the genetic makeup section focuses on helping you understand the basic origin countries of your DNA. This is done in various levels of detail based on the region of the world involved; those with British ancestry will actually be able to pinpoint their origins to 21 specific regions of Britain. When you are ready to get more specific, the “motherline” section lets you view the journey of mitochondrial DNA throughout history, while the “fatherline” section traces your Y-chromosome DNA in a similar manner.

To help make understanding this data easy, LivingDNA provides a plain language analysis combined with visual tools displaying the history of your entire genome. For example, the “through-history” analysis provides an interactive map gives you a visual depiction of your ancestors’ movements throughout the world. There are also “migration map” and “phylogenetic tree” options available to provide a visual aid for understanding the migrations of your distinct maternal and paternal lineages.

Another important thing to note about LivingDNA is it’s close collaboration with academic research and educational programs. Consenting to take part in these efforts opens up opportunities to learn more about your relationship to the rest of humanity on an ongoing basis as new studies are undertaken and new discoveries made. This is perfect if you are someone interested in finding long lost relatives such as distant cousins, or helping the science of genetics to continue progressing.

Privacy Privacy

LivingDNA uses the respected Eurofins laboratory in Denmark for analysis. This lab is held to the highest standards possible; when it receives your sample, no personal information that could identify it as yours is attached to it. This ensures that no unauthorized person can tie you back to your sample. The raw data compiled by Eurofins is then sent to LivingDNA for analysis – no third party is ever involved in the process – and held in accordance with ISO:27001 information security requirements. Once your results are fully complete, you retain completely control over who views them and how they are used. No one will see anything without your express consent.

Limitations

Unlike many other companies offering home DNA test kits, the functionality available for you to connect with the rest of LivingDNA’s user database is limited. While it’s great to be able to participate in broader academic and scientific research, if you are looking geek out on building your family tree bit by bit you’ll most likely be disappointed.

Pricing Pricing

The LivingDNA home DNA test kit costs $159.00. There are no other options or subscription services available.

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

We were really impressed at the combination of features offered by LivingDNA. The ability to pinpoint your lineage in such detail across paternal lines, maternal lines, and geographic location for just $159 is great. While we should have liked to see more robust features for collaboration with other site members, it’s balanced out by the ability to opt-in to scientific studies that you would not otherwise have access to. Overall, highly recommended.

 

Best Online Reviews as well as any person and/or corporate entity associated or affiliated with it does not collect, store, analyze, distribute, transfer or present any information or data relating to or derived from DNA tests, DNA kits or any other DNA product presented herein. Best Online Reviews as well as any person and/or corporate entity associated or affiliated with it merely provides links to websites of DNA test companies, and it is your decision whether to access such websites or not, and whether to contract with such companies and/or provide any DNA materials. Please make sure to review the applicable terms and conditions and privacy policy before contracting with such companies and/or providing any DNA materials. Best Online Reviews as well as any person and/or corporate entity associated or affiliated with it will not be responsible or liable for anything related and/or associated with such DNA test companies, including, but not limited to, any use of data collected by the DNA test companies and/or their affiliates.

16 comments
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.

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?

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.

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?

Logan says:

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

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!

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.

MaryBeth says:

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

JT says:

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

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?

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!

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?

Latisha says:

Got my kit in 4 days. Thanks!

Johnathan L. says:

Is the EuroFins lab accredited in the US?

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.

Cody says:

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