Yale Assure Lock 2 review: A genius lock…once you get it installed

Yale Assure Lock 2 review: A genius lock…once you get it installed


  • Elegant, more attractive design
  • Smaller footprint
  • Reliable automatic unlocking
  • Silent operation


  • Slightly challenging installation
  • The app takes some time to load
  • Problems connecting to HomeKit

The brand new one Yale Assure Lock 2 is set to improve on an already great thing: Its predecessor, the Yale Assure Lock SL.

It’s a smart lock that connects via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so you can control it straight from your smartphone, with a touchpad for entry codes and an alternative keyhole in case of an accident.

A smart lock is a must for my forgetful household members, which is why we love our seniors Yale Assure Lock SL. We’re terrible with keys, and anything important you have to carry around, really.

Remembering a code to enter on a keyboard is much easier than always carrying the key everywhere. And with this lock’s automatic unlock feature, having the door unlocked every time I get home is a beautiful thing.

Also: The best smart locks: Secure your home and business

Yale Assure Lock 2 on a door

Maria Diaz/ZDNET


Touchpad type Touch screen and keyboard
Lock type Key or keyless lock
Connection Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Weight 4.5 lbs
Door thickness 1 3/8″ to 2-1/4″
Character Commercial Class 2
Batteries required Yes (4 AA batteries)
Finish Black suede, satin nickel, oil rubbed bronze
Compatibility With Wi-Fi module: Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit

Whether the new Yale Assure Lock 2 with Wi-Fi is an improvement over the previous version is up for debate, but it definitely has some hits and misses.

Yale Assure Lock 2: How is it going?

The Yale Assure Lock 2 with the Wi-Fi Smart Module is without a doubt one of the best smart locks I’ve used, second only to the previous Yale Assure Lock SL. Would I change anything? Of course, I think there are always some things you can tweak. Here are the top three pros and cons I found in my time using the Yale Assure Lock 2.

Improved display

A smart lock described as beautiful? That was it. Let me tell you something, I already loved the sleek, simplistic design of the Yale Assure Lock SL, and the Yale Assure Lock 2 looks even better. The numbers on the touchscreen only appear when the screen is on and are smoother and more streamlined, each one surrounded to look like a button.

Close-up of the Yale Lock 2 screen

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

It seems like such a small change, but I just love the look of it. And when you compare it to other smart locks, this is one of the few that has disappearing buttons, although you have the option of buying the Yale Assure Lock 2 with a keypad instead.

The screen is now matte, so it doesn’t have the glossy look it used to, but that means it won’t smudge your finger, especially when part of your home’s security relies on a password.

Also: The 6 best home automation systems

Reliable automatic unlocking

Automatic unlocking is my other favorite thing about the Yale Assure Lock 2. This smart lock is extremely useful when you come home with your hands full, or have been out for a few hours and need to run in to let your pup out ASAP before he makes a mess the house. Every time you come home, your phone connects to the lock via Bluetooth and the lock knows how to unlock, or you can also unlock your front door with your Apple Watch.

Unlocking the Yale lock with an Apple Watch

Aside from using Auto Unlock, I can quickly lock and unlock my front door with my Apple Watch.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Setting up automatic unlocking on the Yale Access app is as simple as enabling a switch in the lock settings, and it has worked every single time for me, without fail. As soon as I pull into the driveway, my phone gets a notification that the door is unlocked.

Automatic unlocking is also a feature on the first-generation Yale Assure Lock SL, but it continues to be a great thing in this second-generation smart lock. This Wi-Fi-enabled model is controlled via the Yale Access app, which is a fairly user-friendly platform that allows remote access. Users of this Yale smart lock with Wi-Fi module will have the same user experience as Connected by August users, as both apps are very similar.

Know when your door is open, not just unlocked

The Yale Assure Lock 2 with Wi-Fi comes with DoorSense, a small sensor that can be installed in the door frame next to the lock to detect when the door is open, closed or ajar.

Indoor view of Yale Assure Lock 2

DoorSense is to the left of the lock, but can be mounted in the door frame, so it is not visible.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

It’s great to have a smart lock that knows to lock automatically two minutes after being unlocked, plus get a notification on your phone that the door was locked. But if your door was left wide open or slightly ajar, the latch will still lock and you won’t know the door was open. DoorSense will notify you if the door was left open and can be set up so that the lock only automatically locks when the door is detected to be closed.

DoorSense can be mounted on the inside, next to the lock; or you have the option of drilling a 5/8″ hole into the door frame to achieve a clean, flush mount.

Also: Are you putting off installing smart locks? Here’s why I’m glad I finally did

Slightly challenging installation

I’m no handywoman, but I think I am a handy woman. That means I’m not going to figure out how to tweak my fireplace or go into the crawl space, but I can handle most small repair projects and have certainly changed my share of deadbolts and doorknobs.

However, this latch made the installation process a bit of a pain, literally, as I cut my hand with a screwdriver while installing it.

Installation of the mounting plate

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Installing the Yale Assure Lock 2 was a chore. It took me about fifteen minutes to remove my old Yale smart lock and install it on another door. But installing this new lock took me well over an hour. Obviously this won’t be the case for everyone and I’m not trying to dissuade you from buying this smart lock, I just hope my experiences help others.

Here’s everything you get in the box: the Yale Smart module, external keyboard, battery cover, four AA batteries, internal lock, mounting plate, a key, lock lock, hardware and the installation manual — don’t throw it away, you need it, trust it me.

Yale box with contents

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

The biggest problem I had with the installation was getting the whole thing to sit right on my door. When I went to install the indoor mounting plate after putting the deadbolt and touchpad on the door, the screws on this new Lock 2 didn’t match.

It could be a door issue, although I have a standard door that handled my previous Yale Assure Lock SL just fine. But after trying a couple sizes with screws, I opted to remove the screw-on adapter, which solved the problem.

After installing the mounting plate, it was to screw on the inner cover, connect the capable device, install the module, and then add the batteries. The manual says not to install the batteries before the module, so always keep the order of the setup according to the instructions.

Also: SwitchBot Lock: A potential smart lock solution for renters and HOA residents

Other construction

So this is probably not a bad thing, but I did find that the plastic construction on the thumb swing assembly of the Yale Assure Lock 2 feels different than the first generation. The plastic feels more hollow and almost like it’s easier to break if you’re too rough with it.

Locks indoor thumb

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

However, this lock is Grade Two, so it should hold just as well as the previous version. I won’t be putting a hammer to Yale smart locks, so I can’t say for sure if the quality is better or worse; it’s just different.

Mobile app challenges

While the Yale Access mobile app is very intuitive, it can also be a bit slow at startup. Opening the app always seems to take at least five seconds to load the lock status, whether I’m at home and my phone is connected to Wi-Fi or away and using cellular data. I have also encountered a “Lock offline” message a couple of times.

These issues will likely be resolved over time as more troubleshooting has time to take place.

This lock is Apple HomeKit compatible or is it? The first generation Assure Lock certainly was, as we got the HomeKit module for it, but we’ve been struggling to get this lock connected to HomeKit for days with no luck.

I will continue to experiment with different settings on the Yale Access app and the Apple Home app and will provide an update when this is resolved.

Also: Level Lock+ is the latest smart lock that supports Apple Home Key


In all honesty, the Yale Assure Lock 2 with the Wi-Fi module is a perfect addition to anyone’s home; it’s one that would be great for everyone, from the tech-savvy to the tech-challenged. It’s a beautiful lock that works smoothly the vast majority of the time.

Yale Lock in the middle of the installation

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Users can set up different codes for different guests; anyone from the dog walker or in-laws can each have a different code and you will easily see who has access to your home and when. This lock can also be set up to automatically lock when you leave your home, so you never have to worry about whether the door is locked, giving you the peace of mind you need to live in the moment.

Compared to the first generation of this smart lock, the internal fastening of this new version is smaller. It’s a lock, why should size matter? Smart locks are notorious for having a large internal mount that houses most of the mechanism, smart module and batteries. The Yale Assure Lock 2 manages to occupy a smaller footprint than its predecessor, although the construction feels quite different too.

There is also the option of choosing between a keyed or keyless device. I’m partial to completely keyless units, although I got the keyed entry version. Both options have a backup system: the keyed device comes with a spare key and the keyless smart lock can be opened with a battery if the lock’s batteries die.

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