Best DNA testing websites in Australia
Compare DNA testing kits to find out more about your family history.
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Whether it's finding a relative across the globe or simply learning more about your ancestry, DNA kits could teach you something about yourself that you never knew before. With the rise of this trend, there are now plenty of DNA tests to choose from in Australia.
Use this guide to compare kits for DNA testing in Australia and find out which could be the right test for you.
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What is DNA testing and how does it work?
DNA testing is a tool to help you identify potential relatives, understand your ethnicity better or learn about which diseases you may be at risk of inheriting.
There are three common types of tests used by DNA kits. They are:
- Autosomal testing. This means using pairs of chromosomes to help you identify distant relatives, your ethnic composition, or medical risks you may be more vulnerable to.
- MtDNA testing. A method used to specifically trace your maternal ancestry line.
- Y-DNA testing. A method used to specifically trace your paternal ancestry line.
Exactly how far back can these tests trace your DNA? While autosomal testing can trace up to 8 generations of lineage, mtDNA and Y-DNA testing can trace as far back as 100 generations.
How to compare DNA tests
Out of all the tests above, which could be the best DNA test for you? Use these factors to compare your options.
- Affordability. How much are you willing to pay for a DNA test?
- Features. Are you looking for autosomal, Y-DNA or mtDNA testing? Besides this, consider your purpose of taking a DNA test — whether it's to connect with potential relatives, understand your ethnicity, or learn about potential medical risks.
- Analysis. What level of detail would you like in your analysis? Some companies offer written reports, while others provide pie charts and interactive family trees.
- Speed. How quickly can you get your test results?
Eight popular DNA testing websites
We reviewed these websites in August 2020. We endeavour to ensure that the information on this site is current and accurate but you should confirm any information with the product or service provider and read the information it can provide.
Let's take a look at some of the most popular DNA testing websites in Australia.
1. 23andMe23andMe is one of the only testing websites that offer health screenings alongside the three types of DNA tests listed above. All you have to do is collect a sample of your saliva in the provided test tube and send it back for analysis. Following this, your results will be available in two to four weeks.
23andMe pros and cons
- Provides in-depth health and ethnicity insights.
- Tests back to a wide range of regions to give you comprehensive results.
- Quick turnaround time.
- Not targeted towards helping individuals who are finding potential relatives.
AncesteyDNA draws on a huge gene pool to link you up with potential relatives. It even offers a detailed family tree, whereby you can reach out to potential family members who are part of AncestryDNA's network.
AncestryDNA pros and cons
- Large DNA database spanning over 15 million sets of DNA from more than 700,000 locations.
- A helpful tool for those looking to connect with distant relatives.
- Certain features, like shipping, require extra payment.
This autosomal test is best for those who want a better understanding of their health and medical traits. That's because tellmeGen compares your DNA with over 500,000 other samples to see whether you're susceptible to any of 125 illnesses.
tellmeGen pros and cons
- Offers a comprehensive wellness analysis with free medical counselling.
- Not very useful for those looking to connect with distant relatives or learn about their ethnicity composition.
FamilyTreeDNA is one of the only online DNA tests that clearly show whether potential relatives come from your maternal or paternal family. Swab the inside of your cheek, submit your sample and you'll subsequently receive your test results in six to eight weeks.
FamilyTreeDNA pros and cons
- Clear segregation between maternal and paternal distant relatives.
- Plenty of options to reach out to potential family members.
- Pricier than other DNA tests on the market.
5. Living DNA
An affordable option for those looking to use all three types of DNA tests. Living DNA provides useful details with no additional cost, drawing on over 80 geographic regions and 80,000 years of lineage to give you the best results.
Living DNA pros and cons
- An affordable 3-in-1 option.
- Compared to standard DNA testing that takes up to six weeks, Living DNA results have a longer wait of up to 10 weeks.
6. MyHeritageMyHeritage's autosomal tests provide comprehensive results for you to learn about your ancestry. These results are available in three to four weeks. Following this, you may create your own family tree online with MyHeritage's resources.
MyHeritage pros and cons
- One of the quickest and most affordable DNA tests in Australia.
- Offers yearly subscription tiers for those who are interested in frequent testing.
- Available in 42 languages.
- No MtDNA or Y-DNA testing offered.
- Does not offer health reports.
7. National Geographic Geno 2.0
National Geographic's kit does not involve your standard DNA testing. Instead, it uses special genotyping technology to collect unique information about your genes. It even goes so far as to compare your genome sequencing with that of a Neanderthal.
National Geographic Geno 2.0 pros and cons
- Uses next-generation technology to provide information that other testing kits might miss out on.
- Offers both maternal and paternal tracing patterns.
- Due to the more complex analysis required, the wait time for this test is longer — usually six to twelve weeks.
AfricanAncestry focuses on connecting you to heritage lines from the African regions. It draws on 2,000 years worth of data and compares your genes to that of more than 33,000 indigenous samples.
AfricanAncestry pros and cons
- A unique test focused on tracing family lineages from the African regions, even offering gene breakdowns by tribe.
- Not suited to those looking for tests that draw on gene pools globally.
From reconnecting with relatives to learning more about your genetic make-up, there's plenty of reasons for you to get a DNA test. Ultimately, with so many options to choose from, you should consider your main reason for choosing a test in order to single out the best DNA testing website for you.
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23andMe is a DNA testing kit that helps you understand your ethnicity, pinpoint medical risks and find distant relatives.
What you need to know about MyHeritage's no-frills DNA kits, which offer competitively-priced tests and fast results.
Whether you're looking to find a long-lost relative or just learn about your family's past, AncestryDNA could meet your needs.