Free DNA Testing: What You Need To Know + What Are Your Options

Written by Samantha Odake, BS | Last updated:

The at-home DNA testing landscape is vast and can seem overwhelming. This article will explain and note the facts about free DNA testing, and explore options that can help you learn more about yourself.


Most free DNA testing is offered from research or ancestry projects that seek to collect genetic data to build a database. Potential users should always understand how their data will be used by these organizations if they decide to join.

Uploading Raw DNA Files For Free Vs Free DNA Testing

Individuals interested in getting their DNA tested for free should understand the fundamental difference between free DNA uploading services and free DNA testing services.

Many services offer free DNA upload options for people who already had their DNA tested. You simply use the DNA file you have from companies such as 23andMe to gain further insights into your health or ancestry.

For example, you can upload your DNA for free to SelfDecode to get access to DNA wellness and traits reports and a SNP and gene analyzer tool to help you explore your genetics. If, however, you don’t have access to your raw data, SelfDecode also offers a DNA kit + health insights for $150.

Other companies may offer free DNA testing, but it can have quality or privacy issues. Potential users of free DNA testing services need to understand the details of how their genetic data is being processed and stored. Since most free DNA testing are offered as a part of a research project, keep in mind your data may be published as a result.

Ancestry Projects

Ancestry projects such as the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) offer free DNA testing if the user’s surname qualifies. Projects such as ISOGG can be a good avenue for receiving a free DNA test, but are usually restricted to Y-DNA testing, which is exclusively for men.

Free DNA testing for ancestry

Community Owned Research Projects

Some companies such as LunaDNA offer shares in their company in return for users uploading their personal genetic data free of charge. LunaDNA will use this data for research purposes and pay their users over time.

The downside of a free service such as LunaDNA is that users receive no insight into, or analysis of the genetic data they upload to the service, and users must also already have a raw genetic data file ready to upload. Thus, there is no testing or analysis that occurs on a platform such as LunaDNA.

Methylation and Epigenetic Reports

Epigenetic changes are changes to how genes work based off of a person’s behavior, or environmental factors. For example, a person could have different, more negative epigenetic changes if they are a heavy cigarette smoker. One of the mechanisms for epigenetic changes is methylation, and some platforms offer free methylation reports.

Methylation reports where users can upload their data for free such as Know Your Genetics and Genetic Genie’s Methylation Panel can offer information about epigenetic changes. However, while you can receive a free DNA analysis from these companies, they do not offer free testing kits.

Genomapp offers a similar service to Genetic Genie, but in a mobile app format. Users can upload their DNA data and receive a methylation report for free. These methylation reports, like the one seen below from Genetic Genie, are very simple and lack personalized health recommendations.

Free DNA testing from Genetic GenieSample Methylation Report from Genetic Genie

The platforms listed above may be free if users already have a raw genetic data file, but there will not be as many insights, recommendations, or symptom analysis compared to a paid service.

As explained above, data generated from free genetic upload tools will mostly not be interpreted or explained, so users will only be left with another set of raw genetic data, with no personalized recommendations.

Free DNA Interpretation

Another option that offers a free DNA upload service is SelfDecode. Unlike other free services, SelfDecode analyzes millions of genetic variants from a typical DNA file to provide genetic predisposition scores and personalized health recommendations based on your genes.

By signing up for free to SelfDecode, you’ll also get access to lab analyzer and lifestyle assessment tools for a complete picture of your health.

Below you can view a sample anxiety report.

Free DNA testing

With a free SelfDecode subscription you can discover your personalized all-in-one supplement formula based on your genetic variants to help you address your health issues.


Below is a chart comparing free DNA testing services, with affordable, quality alternatives.



Genetic Genie Codegen.eu


Personalized & holistic health recommendations


No No No

Genes & genetic variants analyzed

Up to 83 million genetic variants 20+ genetic variants Unclear

5,000 genes and 80,000 genetic markers


Free DNA analysis, DNA testing, wellness reports, research-based personalized health recommendations, traits

Health analysis of genetic data

Traits, wellness reports, health recommendations, user comments

DNA analysis app, health, traits, and drug response reports

Raw data access

Yes N/A N/A


Cost (USD)

Start Free Free Free

Prices not disclosed, offers some free reports


Many services that offer free DNA testing are simply databases for research, or ancestry projects that do not offer much in terms of health information or recommendations. To get the most out of your DNA, you’ll be better off uploading your data to dedicated genetic analysis services that can tell you more about yourself.

Privacy is also a key concern for many potential users of paid and free DNA testing services alike. One should consider how companies that seek a profit are able to make money if they are offering their tests for free. It is important to read the terms of service and privacy policies carefully for every service. For example, SelfDecode states that they will never sell, lease, or give away any personal data to anyone.

Overall, free DNA testing can be an interesting avenue to take. If you want to gain insights into your health with personalized recommendations to target your genes, you can upload your DNA for free to SelfDecode to get started.

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About the Author

Samantha Odake

Samantha Odake

Samantha is an engineer turned writer with a passion for helping people.


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