Home & Office
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


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

Yale's Assure Lock 2 comes with a sleek design, key-free access, peace of mind, and a time-consuming installation process.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Min Shin

Yale Assure Lock 2 with Wi-Fi

4 / 5
Very good

pros and cons

  • Sleek, attractive design
  • Smaller footprint
  • Reliable auto-unlock
  • Quiet operation
  • Matte screen for fewer noticeable fingerprints
  • Slightly challenging installation
  • App takes a while to load, especially in Apple Watch

The latest Yale Assure Lock 2 was launched to improve a device that was already pretty great: Its predecessor, the Yale Assure Lock SL.

This newest Assure 2 is a smart lock that connects via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so you can control it right from your smartphone, and it features a touchpad for entry codes and an alternate keyhole in case of any mishaps, or for those that prefer the peace of mind of a physical key.

A smart lock is a must for me and my forgetful household members, which is why we loved our older Yale Assure Lock SL. We're terrible with keys -- and with anything important that you have to consistently carry around, like wallets, phones, and remote controls. 

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

Remembering a code to enter on a keypad is much easier than always carrying our house key everywhere. And, with this lock's auto-unlock feature, having the door be unlocked every time I get home has been a beautiful thing.

Yale Assure Lock 2 on a door
Maria Diaz/ZDNET


Touchpad type Touchscreen and keypad
Lock type Keyed or keyless deadbolt
Connectivity Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
Weight 4.5 lbs
Door thickness 1 3/8" to 2 1/4"
Grade Commercial Grade 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

Yale Assure Lock 2: How does it fare?

The Yale Assure Lock 2 with the Wi-Fi smart module is by far the best smart locks I've used, second only to the previous Yale Assure Lock SL. Would I change some things? Of course, I think there are always some things you can adjust. 

Also: Putting off installing smart locks? Here's why I'm glad I finally did

Here are the top three pros and cons I found in my time using the Yale Assure Lock 2.

Improved display

A smart lock you'd describe as beautiful? This is it. The truth is I already loved the sleek, simplistic design on the Yale Assure Lock SL, and the newer Yale Assure Lock 2 is even better-looking. The numbers on the touchscreen only appear when the screen is on and are smoother and more streamlined, each one encircled to look like a button. 

Closeup of the Yale Lock 2 display
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

It seems like such a small change, but the look of it is evidence that it's a significant improvement. And when you compare it with other smart locks, this is one of the few that has disappearing buttons, though you do have the option of buying the Yale Assure Lock 2 with a keypad instead. 

Also: The 6 best home automation systems 

The screen is now matte, so it doesn't have the glossy look I liked from the previous version. But that means little-to-no finger smudges, which is especially nice when part of your home's security relies on a passcode. 

Reliable auto-unlock

Auto-unlock is my second 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 couple of hours and have to run in to let the puppy out ASAP before he makes a mess in the house. 

Anytime you come home, your phone connects to the lock via Bluetooth and the lock knows to unlock itself, or you can also unlock your front door with your Apple Watch using the Yale app on it.

Unlocking the Yale Lock with an Apple Watch

Aside from using auto-unlock, I can quickly lock and unlock my front door using my Apple Watch.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Setting up Auto-unlock on the Yale Access app is as simple as enabling a switch in the lock settings, and it's 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.

Also: Yes, you can auto-unlock your smart lock with HomeKit. Here's the workaround

Auto-unlock 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 pretty user-friendly platform that allows remote access. Users of this Yale smart lock with the Wi-Fi module will have the same user experience as Connected by August users, as both apps are very similar.

Knows when your door is open, not just unlocked

The Yale Assure Lock 2 with Wi-Fi comes with a 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 left ajar. 

Indoor view of Yale Assure Lock 2

The DoorSense is to the left of the lock but can be mounted in the doorframe, so it's not visible.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

It's great having a smart lock that knows to auto-lock two minutes after it was unlocked, plus getting a notification on your phone that the door was locked. You'll always know your door is locked behind you any time you leave your house. 

But if your door was left wide open or slightly ajar, the lock will still lock and you'll still get a notification of it, unaware that the door was open. DoorSense sends you a notification to alert you if the door was left unlatched and can be set up so the lock only auto-locks when the door is detected to be closed.

DoorSense can be installed on the inside, next to the lock; or you have the option to drill a 5/8-inch hole into your door frame to to achieve a clean, flush mount.

Slightly challenging installation

I'm not a handywoman, but I do believe I'm a handy woman. Meaning that I'm not going to figure out how to tune up my fireplace or go into my crawlspace, but I can tackle most small repair projects and have certainly changed my fair share of deadbolts and doorknobs.

However, this lock made the installation process a little painful -- literally, as I even cut my hand with a screwdriver while installing it. 

Installing the mount plate
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Installing the Yale Assure Lock 2 was a chore. It took me all of about 15 minutes to remove my old Yale smart lock and install it on a backdoor. But the installation of this new lock alone took me well over an hour. Obviously, this won't be the case for everyone, and I'm not trying to dissuade you from getting this smart lock; I'm just hoping my experiences will help others.

Here's everything you get in the box: the Yale Smart Module, exterior keypad, battery cover, four AA batteries, interior lock, mounting plate, a key, deadbolt latch, hardware, and the installation manual -- don't toss it aside, you'll need it, trust me.

Yale box with contents
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

The biggest problem I had with installation was getting the whole thing to sit right on my door. Once 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 line up. 

It may be a door issue, though I do have a standard door which handled my previous Yale Assure Lock SL just fine. But after trying a couple sizes of screws, I opted for removing the adapter that comes screwed on, which resolved the issue.

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

After installing the mounting plate, it was on to screwing on the interior cover, connecting the cable assembly, installing the module, then adding the batteries. The manual states to not install the batteries before the module, so always keep the order of your setup consistent with the instructions. 

Different construction

So this is probably not a bad thing, however, I found the construction on the thumb turn assembly of the Yale Assure Lock 2 feels different than the first generation. It feels more hollow and almost like it's easier to break if you're too rough with it. 

Locking indoor thumb turn
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

However, this lock is Grade Two, so it should hold up as well as the previous version. I'm not going put a hammer to the Yale smart locks, so I can't say for sure whether 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 seems to always take at least five seconds to load the lock status, no matter if I'm home and my phone is connected to Wi-Fi or away and using cellular data. I've also encountered a "Lock disconnected" message a couple times.

These issues will likely get ironed out with time, as more debugging has time to take place.

Also: Level Lock+ is the latest smart lock to support Apple Home Key

This lock is Apple HomeKit-compatible, or is it? We struggled quite a bit to get this lock connected to HomeKit for days until we finally had success after resetting our HomePod Mini. Since then, it's always worked pretty consistently with the Apple Home app, so I have no complaints there. 

Bottom line

In all honesty, the Yale Assure Lock 2 with the Wi-Fi module would be great for everyone from the tech savvy to the tech-challenged. It's a beautiful lock that operates quite smoothly the vast majority of the time.

Yale Lock midinstallation
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

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

Compared with the first generation of this smart lock, the inside mount on this new version is smaller. It's a lock, why would the size matter? Because smart locks are notorious for having a large indoor mount that houses most of the mechanism, the smart module, and the batteries. The Yale Assure Lock 2 manages to occupy less space than its predecessor, though the construction feels quite different as well.

There's also the option to choose from a keyed or a keyless unit. I'm partial to completely keyless units, though I did get the keyed entry version. Both options have a backup system: The keyed unit comes with a backup key and the keyless smart lock can be opened with a battery if the lock's batteries die. 

Alternatives worth considering

There are a lot of great smart locks on the market with features that differ from the Yale Assure Lock 2, like ones that don't require changing the look of the exterior of your front door and completely keyless options. Here are some alternative smart locks to consider.

Editorial standards