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Sequencing.com Review: All about their DNA tests and DNA data tools

Our experts examine the accuracy and value of the DNA tests and members-only data insights

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2020

Sequencing.com review

DNA testing has become widely available to people who want to find out what their unique genetic code can tell them about their health, ancestry or both. How best to process, store, and interpret that data, though, poses a whole new set of challenges.

Enter Sequencing.com, which built a platform to help you not only store your DNA data securely, but also discover more of the world of information derived from your results. The company accepts data uploaded from prior testing elsewhere, but also offers their own tests. While other test providers may give results based on a tenth of a percent of your genetic code, Sequencing.com offers tests that deliver considerably more data (even 100% of it).

So, is “more” better? What exactly can you learn about yourself by uploading your DNA data and analyzing it in this way? Are the insights actionable? Is Sequencing.com a good value? We thoroughly examined Sequencing.com’s products and services and will share the pros, cons and all details about pricing, data security and more.

Review Summary

Pros

  • Health + Ancestry DNA test gives you 50 times more genetic data than major competitors.
  • Sequencing.com offers whole-genome sequencing, unlike many competitors.
  • Data security is paramount – Sequencing.com protects it like a bank.
  • You retain the rights to your data and are in full control over the information derived from it.
  • Over 100 analysis apps and reports (some free, some paid) let you choose à la carte based on particular interests.
  • New apps screened and added frequently in areas like health, ancestry, nutrition, fitness, beauty, lifestyle, and children.
  • Access to ongoing insights, rather than one-time reporting.

Cons

  • Whole-genome sequencing has a higher price tag than other tests, since it’s so much more comprehensive.
  • The membership fee structure makes you vulnerable to rising costs.

Bottom line

We recommend Sequencing.com for people interested in taking a deep dive into their genome. It’s also a great resource for following the latest advances in DNA analysis. With the most comprehensive direct-to-consumer genetic test on the market, Sequencing.com can take you beyond what traditional DNA test results can tell you. Sequencing.com’s App Market, with over 100 apps and counting, is an excellent way to make selective choices to pursue information and make the most of your data. However, Sequencing.com’s price and services may be overwhelming and not ideal for people who are totally new to DNA testing or analysis.

Why you should trust us

Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20th anniversary online. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

Like all medical-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for medical accuracy. Additionally, we extensively analyze each health-related service we review. We evaluate the entire customer experience (from sign-up to use of the product or service), and then offer unbiased, marketing-jargon-free analysis based on the latest scientific evidence and medical standards.

About Sequencing.com and its platform

Founded in 2013 and formally launched in 2016, Sequencing.com is a US-based DNA testing and genetic data platform.

The company’s platform empowers you to delve deeply into the information held in your DNA. You can purchase a DNA test or upload DNA test data from another service. Then, via a membership, you’ll gain access to a suite of apps that give you personalized insights and reporting.

Sequencing.com’s platform is compatible with data from any genetic test, including data from the market leaders in direct-to-consumer genetic testing, like 23andMe, and AncestryDNA, and genome sequencing giants such as Illumina and BGI. The end result is a very powerful, versatile way to harness and analyze various data on one platform regardless of format.

Sequencing.com’s platform

Sequencing.com screens its participating apps rigorously to control quality and adds new apps frequently. You’ll find apps that give you information on topics like the following, among others:

  • Genetic genealogy
  • Rare disease screenings
  • Cancer prevention
  • General health topics
  • Nutrition advice
  • Weight loss
  • Reactions to medications

How does Sequencing.com work?

Step 1: Buy a DNA test or upload existing DNA test results

If you do not already have DNA test results, Sequencing.com has its own DNA testing service, allowing you to place an order easily online. The two available tests from Sequencing.com test either 1% or 100% of your genome. For comparison, most other competitors test about 0.1% of it. We’ll describe these tests in greater detail below.

However, if you have already completed a DNA test with another service and want to see what Sequencing.com can reveal about this data, you can upload your data to Sequencing.com. The platform is compatible with data from many other genetic tests provided by prominent companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA.

Sequencing.com also allows you to upload more than one data set (for example, if you have two test results from two separate companies). If you upload more than one data set, you’ll still receive a single report that puts all of the information in the same format, and in a single place – a feature we found to be very convenient.

This capability is part of Sequencing.com’s One Genome Technology, which also allows you to merge different types of data uncovered via DNA sequencing, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – typical for most direct-to-consumer genetic testing – and insertion/deletion variants (INDELS) that represent small sequences either added or removed from the normal DNA sequence and chromosome structure variations. We’ll explain more about SNPs and INDELS when we get to the products and their pricing.

Sequencing.com is very transparent about the science and technology used as part of their testing platform. Most DNA testing companies use Illumina, the world leader in DNA sequencing platforms. However, Sequencing.com uses another sequencing giant and Illumina’s competitor, BGI (specifically, the company uses a platform by MGI tech, a subsidiary of BGI). Sequencing.com uses their bioinformatics pipeline and proprietary software to analyze your data.

Step 2: Select apps that interest you

Sequencing.com app market

Sequencing.com hosts a collection of DNA analysis apps that helps you to explore the information contained within your DNA (some apps are free, while others need to be purchased).

After you either test or upload existing DNA test data, you can pick and choose among these apps in order to gain the insights that interest you most. Categories span health, ancestry, nutrition, fitness, beauty, lifestyle, bioinformatics, and more.

For example, some apps will tell you about your unique dietary needs based on your DNA. Some apps offer insight into the best weight management plans for you. Other apps will tell you how your DNA affects your personality or your fitness/athletic ability. Available apps offer guidance on which vitamins are best for you to take and which medications are liable to cause a negative reaction. There is even an app that will analyze your DNA and let you know your risk from the coronavirus. (Sequencing.com is currently offering this app for free for a limited time).

Importantly, Sequencing.com adheres to a rigorous screening process for all apps featured on the platform. The company regularly rejects apps that do not meet their reliability criteria.

Step 3: Get your insights and act on them

Once you select an app or apps that suit your goals, these apps will generate reports so that you gain useful insights throughout your life. New apps – and new report possibilities – are added frequently, which is part of what makes Sequencing.com’s membership justifiable. Sequencing.com calls this Real-time Personalization™, and it distinguishes them from other companies, which usually sell one-off reports with limited updates.

How much does Sequencing.com cost?

The cost of Sequencing.com depends on which test (if any) you purchase, which app or apps you purchase afterward, and what type of membership plan you choose.

Ultimate DNA Test

The Ultimate DNA Test regularly costs $189 but is currently discounted to $69. In addition to the DNA test, included in the price are a one-month Silver Membership and a Coronavirus DNA Health Report.

Sequencing.com states that their Ultimate DNA Test provides around 50 times more data than the market leaders, offering insights into ancestry, health, and more:

  • The Ultimate DNA Test has information on an estimated 30 million variants, including the Y chromosome (males only), which gives insights into paternal lineage, and mitochondrial DNA, which offers insights into a maternal line.
  • The data also includes information on Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and INDELS. SNPs can help identify how a person will react to a particular drug or environmental toxin, or whether they are at risk of developing a specific disease. INDELs can alter human traits and may cause diseases.

Ultimate Genome Sequencing Service

Ultimate Genome Sequencing regularly costs $599 but is currently discounted to $399. The price includes a one-month Silver Membership, a Coronavirus DNA Health Report, a Wellness & Longevity Report, a Healthcare Pro Report, and a Rare Disease Screen.

The Ultimate Genome Sequencing test offers around 5,000 times more data than 23andMe and AncestryDNA, sequencing 100% of an individual’s genome.

  • This service collects data at 3 billion sites in the genome, including the Y chromosome (males only), which gives insights into paternal lineage, and mitochondrial DNA, which offers insights into a maternal line.
  • The data also includes single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and INDELS, the same as what the Ultimate DNA Test provides.
  • Additionally, you receive insights into copy number variations (where the number of copies of a particular gene is different between individuals) and chromosome structure variations.

Member access (for access to the apps)

For access to their App Market, Sequencing.com uses a membership-based system. The cost for individual apps ranges from free to $250, with most costing around $50. Some apps also have free trials available. There is no charge for DNA data storage or processing.

Free Membership: For those who are just getting started, this gives you access to the free apps available in the App Market.

Silver Membership: Regularly $19.98 per month or $239.76 annually but is currently discounted to $9.99 per month and $118.98 annually:

  • Two free apps every month
  • Instant access to two popular apps, DNA Selfie (which uses your DNA to predict your facial features) and Genome Explorer Ultimate (which is an app to explore your genetic data and share it with others)
  • Genome-Lock DNA Security (secures your data)
  • One Genome (for integrating your data from different sources) for life
  • Altruism Rewards (for agreeing to share your anonymous genetic data for aid in research)

Gold Membership: Regularly $59.98 per month or $719.76 annually but is currently discounted to $29.99 per month and $359.88 annually.

  • Four free apps every month
  • Real-time health updates (email or text alerts) when there is more information available about your genetic data thanks to newly published research
  • Instant access to two popular apps, DNA Selfie (which uses your DNA to predict your facial features) and Genome Explorer Ultimate (which is an app to explore your genetic data and share it with others)
  • Genome-Lock DNA Security (secures your data)
  • One Genome (for integrating your data from different sources) for life
  • Altruism Rewards (for agreeing to share your anonymous genetic data for aid in research)

Platinum Membership: regularly costs $99.98 per month or $1,199.76 annually but is currently discounted to $49.99 per month and $599.88 annually:

  • Six free apps every month
  • Lifetime live genetic counseling with licensed genetic counselors
  • Real-time health updates (email or text alerts) when there is more information available about your genetic data thanks to newly published research
  • Instant access to two popular apps, DNA Selfie (which uses your DNA to predict your facial features) and Genome Explorer Ultimate (which is an app to explore your genetic data and share it with others)
  • Genome-Lock DNA Security (secures your data)
  • One Genome (for integrating your data from different sources) for life
  • Altruism Rewards (for agreeing to share your anonymous genetic data for aid in research)

Do health insurance companies cover DNA testing?

Typically, insurance companies will cover the cost of genetic testing as long as specific criteria are met. For example, if there is a particular disease that runs in your family, your insurance company may cover your testing cost to see if you are at risk. Check with your insurance company for your specific coverage details.

Getting started with Sequencing.com

We found it very easy to use Sequencing.com. Here are the steps to get started.

If you already tested and want to use existing genetic data:

  1. Upload your genetic data from prior testing. Sequencing.com supports DNA and genome tests from all companies that provide results (like 23andMe and AncestryDNA, for instance), with comprehensive instructions for properly uploading the data.

  2. Choose your membership level. You can find the details and differences described above in this review. Make your choice based on your desire to learn more each month about your genetic data.

  3. Use the apps to learn about your data. Browse the App Market to find the apps whose reporting interests you most. The apps you select will deliver reporting and insights. Some insights are actionable while others may simply satisfy curiosity.

If you want a good, comprehensive DNA test:

You can order a DNA test online directly from Sequencing.com. As outlined previously, there are two options available:

  • The Ultimate DNA Test, which is more affordable while still being a great upgrade over conventional DNA tests in terms of the amount of data resulting from it.
  • The Ultimate Genome Sequencing, which is more expensive but also the most comprehensive test you can take, sequencing your entire genome.

And here are the steps to get started:

  1. Buy the best test for you based on your goals and budget. If you want a major upgrade to the most comprehensive data possible, choose the full genome sequencing. We believe a majority of people will be very happy with the more affordable Ultimate DNA Test, though, which is still much more comprehensive than other available tests.

  2. After you place your order, the test you selected will be delivered to your home. Sequencing.com can ship worldwide.

  3. After your DNA collection kit arrives, follow the instructions to do a quick mouth swab. No blood samples necessary.

  4. Mail this specimen back to the company’s lab. You’ll have results available within four to eight weeks, depending on which of the two tests you chose.

  5. Choose your membership plan based on your goals for learning about your DNA.

  6. Access the specific apps that help you uncover what you want to learn.

Does Sequencing.com protect your privacy?

Sequencing.com really emphasizes privacy and security when it comes to your data. The company won’t sell your data or share it with anyone, including pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, government agencies, or law enforcement. Sequencing.com is entirely compliant with GDPR, HIPAA, and Privacy Shield. Your data belongs to you, and you can download and delete your files at any time.

All data is protected with the highest security systems. Sequencing.com’s security feature is called GenomeLock DNA Security, and only you can access it. Sequencing.com compares their level of security to what is provided for your online bank account.

What criteria do we use to evaluate health tests and services?

At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For Sequencing.com and other health services and products, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:

Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? Does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies for testing services and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?

User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device/program/app/website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?

Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?

Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help make the service ideal for you?