Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Geno 2.0 test is part of National Geographic’s Genographic Project. This test excels at looking at your ancient DNA but lacks the relative-matching features of the best DNA testing companies we evaluated. Because it’s more expensive than the tests from Ancestry.com and 23andMe, but delivers fewer results and doesn’t have cousin-matching, we recommend you choose one of those tests.
One benefit to National Geographic’s test is that the test is now partnered with Helix, a separate DNA testing company. This means that the testing kit and saliva are branded by Helix, but the results come from National Geographic. By testing with Helix, however, you have the opportunity to purchase additional DNA products from the Helix DNA marketplace. You can purchase additional tests and products from the marketplace to do things like find out if you’re a carrier for diseases, tailor workouts to your DNA or order a scarf patterned after your DNA.
This DNA testing kit requires you to fill a vial with saliva, but the instructions were easy to follow and it didn’t require an unreasonable DNA sample size. National Geographic advertises that it may take between six and 12 weeks to get results back from this test. I received my results 21 days after I received an email that my sample had been received at the lab. This was faster than three of the tests I took.
This company compiles your results in a single-page dashboard that gives you an overview about all your results. You can view historical figures that you are likely related to, your regional or biogeographical ancestry, your haplogroup history and your Neanderthal ancestry.
The biogeographical ancestry report isn’t displayed on as detailed a map as some of the other companies we tested. You can only zoom in a few clicks on the map, and there are no country designations on the map. One interesting part of this report is that it compares your DNA biogeographical ancestry against reference populations, and you can see how your DNA is similar and different to the DNA from those reference populations.
The most engaging report that National Geographic provides is the haplogroup, or deep ancestry, report. You can choose to browse either your maternal or paternal line and click through a timeline with information about the different branches that your genes have descended from. This is similar to the haplogroup report from 23andMe, but this report is more visually interactive and gives more information about each of the haplogroup branches with in-depth essays and pictures for each one.
For most of the reports, however, Geno 2.0 doesn’t give as much information as 23andMe and doesn’t have any of the matching features that other companies we tested do. If you’re taking a DNA test to connect with relatives or learn about your personal past, we recommend that you test from Ancestry.com. If you’re interested in the reports from Geno 2.0, 23andMe features similar reports but also gives you access to a DNA relative finder and you can export your results to other services like MyHeritage and FamilyTree DNA. Geno 2.0 doesn’t have any of those features.