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GPS Origins DNA Tests Review (2024)

Trace Your Ancestral Roots with GPS-Precise DNA Insights
By Top10.com StaffBy Top10.com Staff -
Last Updated: Oct 20, 2023
5 reviews
by
logo-GPS ORIGINS
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Price
149/kit
Results in
4 to 6 weeks
Collection method
Cheek swabs

Our Verdict

Is GPS Origins Worth It? 

GPS Origins DNA tests revolutionized the DNA testing industry. Since entering the market in 1995, GPS Origins has taken ancestral genealogy to the next level. Unlike most other DNA tests, GPS Origins has the technology to pinpoint the precise location of where your DNA stems from, not just the general region. With this technology, GPS Origins is able to track your DNA back, up to 1,000 years ago, to the exact village where your ancestors lived.

Price
149/kit
Results in
4 to 6 weeks
Collection method
Cheek swabs

GPS Origins at a Glance

9.0
Editorial Score

Services Offered

Simple cheek swab, testing over 80,000 unique genetic markers, cross-checking across dozens of gene pools and 1,000+ populations
9.0

Brand Reputation

Launched in 2016, based on DNA Diagnostics Center commissioned Dr. Eran Elhaik, not a company, this is a product
9.0

Speed of Results

Within 6 weeks
9.0

Cost

Kit cost is $199 + free shipping, sales may be available through 3rd party retailers
9.0

Customer Support

Call 1-800-281-2916, Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Eastern Time or use the online form
9.0

GPS Origins Pros & Cons

PROS

Report delivers pinpoint accuracy
Migration history covers thousands of years

CONS

Slightly more expensive at $149
Fairly basic for the cost

Top GPS Origins Reviews

J.W Marie
HomeDNA is fraudulent
HomeDNA is fraudulent. I went to download my raw dna into my files and the "so called" raw dna file is completely empty. I've done this several times with other DNA labs and never had a problem. I sent an email and received a confirmation email and then nothing.
Peter Olsen
I do not know what scam you are…
I do not know what scam you are running, but either you refund my money or as I wrote many times, I will write extensively on Facebook and I will contact my Credit Card and register your scam. I talked with a Stefanie last Wednesday and she denied me help. I wrote Emails, I got one from a Sara, who wrote nothing but BS and threatened me, she would send a code for a new kit and if the missing kit was used, no test would be made. I do not appreciate such BS. Just now I called and had to wait over 30 minutes. Another dumb B said hello, I returned the hello and politely asked if a SARA was there. That B just hung up!
MM
Masimba Musodza
Disappointingly pointless
The only positive is that the results came a lot sooner than they said I was to expect them. I wish I had never purchased their HomeDNA™ Starter Ancestry Test. The results were way off- I am of Zimbabwean origin and my paternal line has been in that land for at least 400 years, while the maternal one goes back to at least 1200 years with documented Khoisan ancestry that would go back for millenia preceding the Bantu Migration. You'd think the test would reflect this, instead it cited me as having mostly DNA in common with people in Rwanda heritage (plausible because that is a main stopping point in our history) followed by Guinea-Bissau (unbelievable) Angola, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. Some of these are plausible as they do form part of the Bantu Migration. Logic tells me that HomeDNA does not have sufficient data to compare information, which explains results that omit places like Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia etc otherwise they would have appeared in the results. If my body was found, perhaps burnt beyong recognition, the HomeDNA™ Starter Ancestry Test results would have had the authorities trying to find my next of kin in Rwanda or Guninea-Bissau! (I am from Zimbabwe) Just to be that extra-unhelpful, you can't import raw DNA data from your results to a platform such as Sequencing.com which can allow you to compare your genetic markers with a wider pool of information. If you are looking for detailed ancestry information based on an analysis of your DNA, HomeDNA will waste your time and money.
See all GPS Origins reviews

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GPS Origins GPS Origins Visit Site


Overview

GPS Origins offers a compelling DNA kit and deep ancestry report for genealogists who want to delve back many generations before family records were kept. Its report gives customers a very detailed migration route that their ancestors took from a point of origin to more recent times. This test does not provide the standard ethnicity mix that comes with many autosomal DNA tests. Rather it looks at where ancestors lived, and then moved, hundreds of generations ago. The GPS Origins report gives customers actual village or town names along a migration path, where ancestors once lived.

More About GPS Origins

The DNA test kit marketed by GPS Origins provides a longer and deeper genetic history than other kits that focus only on providing a person’s ethnicity percentages. GPS Origins delivers deep ancestry, looking at genetic markers to estimate ethnic origins going back thousands of years, and mapping out two migration routes that ancestors followed. It does not trace history as deeply as some tests on the market, but it gives pinpoint geographic accuracy to show where each person’s ancestors lived at various times in history.

HomeDNA was launched in 2016 as a stand-alone brand offering a unique type of genetic testing for genealogy. In 2017, it became part of GPS Origins, a website offering a suite of DNA test products related to paternity, health and pet-breed identification. GPS Origins is based on the research of Dr. Eran Elhaik and a team at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. 

The test uses some 800,000 genetic markers from 862 reference populations to determine the origin of a person’s DNA, down to a specific village or region. The service was launched in 2016 through a stand-alone web site, but in 2017 GPS origins became part of GPS Origins, which also sells genetic tests for skin care, healthy weight, joint care, determination of paternity, and dog-breed identification.

The laboratory work is done by DNA Diagnostics Center of Fairfield, Ohio. The company did not explain the change to GPS Origins, causing some confusion when we retrieved our results. The website and most of the marketing materials were different than when the original kit was purchased. The site is so new that on our visit there was just one customer rating for the GPS Origins product — and that was written by an employee of the company that developed the test. GPS Origins’ Twitter feed did not yet have any activity when we visited.

Ideal For

  • Genealogists tracing family history

  • Those seeking a deeper personal genetic history

  • Supplementing other types of DNA tests


Why Go With GPS Origin

A key benefit of using GPS Origins is seeing where your DNA originated. In my case, the DNA origin point was listed as near Vyshny Volochok, Russia, sometime prior to 1277 BC. The report offered 2 DNA migration paths meant to represent movement of maternal and paternal ancestors. 

One moved from Russia to the Czech Republic and ended at Palma de Mallorca, Spain, as late as 311 BC. The other path went from Russia to near Kalisz, Poland, and ended at Roanne, France, as late as 1095 AD. This kind of precision is very intriguing, assuming the science behind it is correct. As with other deep-ancestry kits, these results predate the availability of most genealogy research data, so they can provide some surprising additions to the family story.

What GPS Origins Offers

  • Deep ancestry tracing hundreds of generations
  • A testing algorithm plotting migration paths to local level
  • Color-coded maps showing top 3 gene pools
  • Detailed chart showing all ethnic groupings
  • Good historical background on regions and time periods
  • A report useful for everyone from layperson to expert


GPS Origins has a different mindset from other types of genealogy DNA tests. The focus is less on ethnic groups or racial lines and more on where different populations gathered to form an individual’s DNA. In addition to the location-specific migration paths, the GPS Origins report includes a full breakdown of each person’s gene pool. In our case, the top 3 gene pools were Fennoscandia (22.4%), Southern France (21.1%) and the Orkney Islands (13.2%). These group designations were different than those used on other DNA tests. Each of the top 3 gene pools included a history article with background on the peoples that comprised them. An accompanying chart included 8 other gene pools, from Basque Country (12.2%) down to Northern India (0.1%).

The GPS Origins report includes a chart with breakdown of all gene pools in your DNA.

DNA Test Type

The GPS Origins test uses autosomal (family) DNA for its analysis and report. In our case, the lab examined nearly 730,000 autosomal “markers” or mutations on the chromosomes and compared them with markers in the gene pools of reference populations in the GPS Origins database. By looking at where and when our DNA last changed, GPS Origins was able to provide the breakdown of gene-pool populations and the map of how ancestors migrated.

Report Features

  • Color-coded maps for top 3 gene pools
  • Background articles on top 3 gene pools
  • Chart with breakdown of all gene pools
  • Migration paths of ancestors
  • Google-style zoomable map with pinpoint locations for migration paths
  • Background articles for each migration path
  • Downloadable DNA file that can be used with other DNA services

How GPS Origins Works

DNA Collection Kit

Compared to other DNA collection kits we’ve encountered, the GPS Origins kit was incredibly basic. When it arrived, the “package” almost looked like a junk-mail brochure. There was no box or appreciable marketing presentation; just some test swabs wrapped in a brochure. Given the kit’s $149 price, this was rather surprising. The kit included 4 cheek swabs, but no vials in which to secure them. In fact, we were instructed to put all 4 completed swabs into the included paper envelope together. Cross-contamination was apparently not a concern for the lab.

 The instructions said to seal the return envelope with tape and not to lick the flap, yet the flap contained gum adhesive of the type you lick. This seemed unnecessarily confusing. There was no kit activation or advance registration; GPS Origins used information provided at purchase to identify the returned DNA sample. Again, this was confusing, so we contacted customer service to confirm the small barcode on the kit would indeed link to our name and contact information.

Speed of Kit Delivery and Results

GPS Origins advertises a 4- to 6-week turnaround time once it receives a completed DNA test kit. This is quicker than for some competing kits. Some users online reported receiving results in as little as 10 days, which could be due to GPS Origins using its own laboratory for DNA processing.

GPS Origins Customer Support

Customer support is an important resource, especially when so many purchasers of DNA kits are new to genetic genealogy. We found GPS Origins customer service quick and responsive (replied within a day) with the one question we submitted regarding kit registration.

Physical Address

DNA Diagnostics Center

1 DDC Way

Fairfield, OH 45014

Contact Details

Phone: (800) 281-2916

Email: customersupport@homedna.com

GPS Origins Pricing

Regular price for the GPS Origins DNA kit is $149, although the company does offer promotions that cut the price by $50 or more. Consumers have the option of uploading a DNA file from another vendor for analysis using the GPS Origins algorithm. That option costs $79.

GPS Origins GPS Origins Visit Site

Bottom Line  

GPS Origins offers a compelling DNA kit and deep ancestry report for genealogists who want to delve back many generations before family records were kept. Its report gives customers a very detailed migration route that their ancestors took from a point of origin to more recent times. This test does not provide the standard ethnicity mix that comes with many autosomal DNA tests. Rather it looks at where ancestors lived, and then moved, hundreds of generations ago. The GPS Origins report gives customers actual village or town names along a migration path, where ancestors once lived.

Top10.com's editorial staff is a professional team of editors and writers with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.

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J.W Marie
4 months ago
HomeDNA is fraudulent
HomeDNA is fraudulent. I went to download my raw dna into my files and the "so called" raw dna file is completely empty. I've done this several times with other DNA labs and never had a problem. I sent an email and received a confirmation email and then nothing.
Peter Olsen
2 years ago
I do not know what scam you are…
I do not know what scam you are running, but either you refund my money or as I wrote many times, I will write extensively on Facebook and I will contact my Credit Card and register your scam. I talked with a Stefanie last Wednesday and she denied me help. I wrote Emails, I got one from a Sara, who wrote nothing but BS and threatened me, she would send a code for a new kit and if the missing kit was used, no test would be made. I do not appreciate such BS. Just now I called and had to wait over 30 minutes. Another dumb B said hello, I returned the hello and politely asked if a SARA was there. That B just hung up!
MM
Masimba Musodza
4 years ago
Disappointingly pointless
The only positive is that the results came a lot sooner than they said I was to expect them. I wish I had never purchased their HomeDNA™ Starter Ancestry Test. The results were way off- I am of Zimbabwean origin and my paternal line has been in that land for at least 400 years, while the maternal one goes back to at least 1200 years with documented Khoisan ancestry that would go back for millenia preceding the Bantu Migration. You'd think the test would reflect this, instead it cited me as having mostly DNA in common with people in Rwanda heritage (plausible because that is a main stopping point in our history) followed by Guinea-Bissau (unbelievable) Angola, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. Some of these are plausible as they do form part of the Bantu Migration. Logic tells me that HomeDNA does not have sufficient data to compare information, which explains results that omit places like Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia etc otherwise they would have appeared in the results. If my body was found, perhaps burnt beyong recognition, the HomeDNA™ Starter Ancestry Test results would have had the authorities trying to find my next of kin in Rwanda or Guninea-Bissau! (I am from Zimbabwe) Just to be that extra-unhelpful, you can't import raw DNA data from your results to a platform such as Sequencing.com which can allow you to compare your genetic markers with a wider pool of information. If you are looking for detailed ancestry information based on an analysis of your DNA, HomeDNA will waste your time and money.
Sophie Sweatman
4 years ago
DNA test Company Exploiting Our Desire to Find our Roots
I received my results in 4 weeks - 2 weeks before confirmation email predicted - and found my results a little surprising. The provide top 3 gene pools and mine were the same, in the same order as PC World journalist Dieter Holger, a test subject who took all the tests for Nanalyzer.com, Emily Reviews, supposedly DNATestingChoice (who stated their test was genuine) and other samples on Top10.com and similar websites. They claim everyone is from same 3 origins Fennoscandia being the biggest, South France then the Orkney islands and the smaller pools are all the same places ranging from israel, India to Basques country. The do not give MtaDNA or Y-DNA haplogroups or subclades although I already know mine. This makes it look as if we all have one Scandinavian or North European lineage and one South france, spain and Basques lineage and all our ancestors passed through the tiny Orkney Islands. Their background info is generic about history for the locations on the map. I emailed and had no reply. i called and spoke to a rude man who didn't let me speak, made me wrong, criticised me personally for not knowing my "case reference number" and said I "should" find it easily. i asked where to look and he kept interupting and asked for different information but not where to find it. I got put through to '"Mike" who was exactly the same and wouldn't let me make my point and was very rude. This company are obviously dodgy and just exploiting people's interest in our origins. Apparently we are all the same and very closely related as all our parents passed through the same places at the same time. don't fall for review websites, they are probably all owned by HomeDNA to sell their sham products. No reply to emailing them through their website. Just suggestion to use their FAQs. International Biosciences seem similar and are defensive in their responses. "No one pushes back this much unless they are hiding something" . I've read all the major books on DNA research by its leading scientists and HomeDNA/GPS Origins have either contaminated all our samples or just fob people off with their algorithm.

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