Genealogy and ancestry-based DNA testing is a process whereby a DNA testing provider analyzes an individual's genome and uses the resulting information to provide insight into the individual's relationship to other people or populations around the world and throughout history.
The testing procedure begins with the collection of a DNA sample. After the customer has ordered and paid for a particular DNA testing product, the provider will ship them a testing kit - typically consisting of either a cotton swab for a cheek cell sample or a spit tube for a saliva sample - to be sent back for testing.
The sample is then sent to the company's lab, where it is analyzed using any of a number of techniques and processes. The company generates a report based on their research and sends it back to the customer anywhere from several days to several months after receiving the sample.
The choice of a DNA testing provider depends partially on customer service factors such as price and turnaround time, but there are many other factors that affect the quality and reliability of a provider. The types of DNA they test, how extensively they analyze it, and what they include in their reports can affect the level of insight you gain from your DNA test and the overall experience you have with the provider.