Pros / If you’ve previously taken a DNA test with another company, you can upload your raw DNA to 24Genetics to test without collecting a second sample.
Cons / Of the services we tested, 24Genetics took the longest to return results, which are emailed via PDF.
Verdict / 24Genetics was the most expensive ancestry test we reviewed and its basic results and lack of an online interface make it less a interactive and interesting experience.
24Genetics offers a variety of DNA tests spanning health and wellness and, of course, ancestry. At $149, 24Genetics’ test is about $50 more expensive than the best DNA ancestry tests, but you can upload your Raw DNA data to their ancestry test for just $49.
The test takes a cheek swab sample and includes one swab, a sample tube, gloves and some paperwork. Generally, testers preferred the saliva sample method, even though it took less time than swabbing, because the swab method can irritate the inside of your mouth. Beyond that, the registration process wasn’t very intuitive. The best tests let you register your kit and create an account online when you collect your sample, but the 24Genetics kit required filling out physical paperwork, which isn’t necessarily a hardship, but is a less streamlined process. After collecting and mailing my sample, I received an email in 16 days informing me that my sample had arrived. I didn’t hear anything else for a month and a half, until I received an email with a PDF of my results. All in all, it took 62 days to get my report, which was three weeks longer than any of the other tests.
My ancestry report was nine pages long: one front cover, one back cover, one form letter introducing the ancestry report and six maps. The maps are a continental breakdown, countries, regions, and regions specific to each continent matched, which was just repetitive data. Overall, it’s not an impressive report. Besides the form letter, there are about 40 words in the whole report. Each map is spotted with different shades of blue dots and has a list of geographic areas listed below with percentages. The map doesn’t label each corresponding area, however, nor does it tell you which dot belongs to which percentage or area, which is confusing if you have multiple regional matches in the same area. 24Genetics also doesn’t offer any context for the dots and percentages. I did notice that my results were more specific than other tests like AncestryDNA, but the specificity didn’t necessarily inspire more confidence in the test’s accuracy.
One major disadvantage of 24Genetics is that it doesn’t have a web interface, which makes registration more difficult. It also limits how you can interact with your ancestry results. It makes it more difficult to share certain parts of your results with others. 24Genetics doesn’t offer family matching, family trees, or anything else that encourages you to continue to explore your DNA story. Your transaction with 24Genetics ends when you get the report, unless you decide to purchase another test.