Ease of Use
Everyday usage and multiple users
This lock is pretty easy to use. You simply enter your access code and unlock the door.
If you purchase the lock without any Yale modules or the Connect by August Wi-Fi bridge, you can create 25 unique access codes. If you choose to purchase one of the Yale modules or the Connect, you can create 250 unique access codes.
Each access code can be between four and eight digits—so you get to determine what’s easiest for you (and whoever else has access to the lock!) to remember.
While the manufacturer’s website does have some helpful information about operating your new lock, the FAQ section is woefully inadequate, especially for a lock designed to work with three interchangeable modules and another company’s Wi-Fi bridge.
Because of this, there are more than 400 answered questions on Amazon about this smart lock, which we suggest you at least skim prior to making a purchase, because there’s a good chance you won’t find the information anywhere else.
Adding new users is a fairly simple process, whether you’re creating new codes through the keypad or one of the third-party apps.
There’s no key, but there is an emergency battery terminal on the outside of the lock to give it a quick charge so you can still unlock the door and get inside the house if the regular batteries die.
It is fairly easy to use, but hunting down the details on exactly how to use the lock with the particular smart home system/device you have is quite complicated. For those reasons, it gets an 8/10 in the ease of use category.
Smart Home System Integration
Which systems is this smart lock compatible with?
This smart lock is only compatible with other smart devices/smart home systems if additional modules are purchased. There are different modules for different systems, including a Z-wave module, a ZigBee module, and an Apple HomeKit module.
The lock is designed so that the modules are inserted directly into the lock itself, and can be switched out, if necessary, from one system to another. (Although each module must be purchased separately.)
The modules cost between $43 and $75 and are color-coded so you can tell them apart once they’ve been unpackaged.
Yale Assure SL is also compatible with the stand-alone Connect by August Wi-Fi bridge.
Without the Yale modules or the Connect Wi-Fi bridge, the Yale Assure SL will not integrate with any smart home systems/smart devices.
We break down your compatibility options with each of the Yale modules and the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge in the table below, since having so many options can be a little confusing.
|Module/Bridge||Compatible Smart Home Systems/Devices||Module Color||Cost|
|iM1 (Apple HomeKit)||HomeKit, Siri||Orange||$43|
|ZW2 (Z-wave plus)||SmartThings, wink, ring, alarm.com, ADT, Iris, Vera, Honeywell smart devices||Green||$70|
|HA2 (ZigBee)||Amazon Echo, xfinity home, SmartThings, Amazon Key app||Red||$75|
|Connect by August Wi-Fi bridge||Alexa, Google assistant, Airbnb, SimpliSafe, nest, Honeywell smart devices||N/A||$62|
This versatility means that you can keep your Assure SL smart lock no matter which smart home system you use, even if you change smart home systems after purchasing the lock.
If you prefer, you can bundle the module and the lock at the time of purchase, and then purchase a different module if you decide to switch out your smart home system at a later date.
Bundling the module (or Wi-Fi hub) with the lock at the time of purchase is what Yale refers to as purchasing an “upgraded” lock. Remember, if you’re looking to purchase the lock online and don’t see it as “upgraded” or bundled with a module/Wi-Fi hub, you’re not getting any smart functionality.
With the plethora of compatible systems, depending on which module you choose, you have the option to lock and unlock your door remotely in a variety of ways, including via voice command through Siri, Alexa, or Google assistant.
Because of the large number of connection options available with this smart lock, but “upgraded” versions of the lock must be purchased to access them, it gets a 9/10 rating in this category.
Ease of Installation
Installing this smart lock is pretty simple: you just need a screwdriver. You do, of course, need to remove your old lock prior to installing this one.
There’s an installation video for this lock on the Yale website, or you can download the Bilt app for additional installation help. While the manufacturer does provide a PDF version of the installation guide, the illustrations are not that easy to follow, and it’s much easier to use the app or watch the video to install the lock.
Note, however, that you must go to the manufacturer’s website to find the North American version of the installation video. There is another installation video available online for customers in New Zealand and Australia.
Once the old lock is removed, following the installation instructions in the app or Yale’s official installation video is fairly simple, and the locks fits all standard doors (1 ⅜ inch to 2 ¼ inch), which is a nice bonus.
There are only a few steps, which we list below to help you make your buying decision.
- Install the new deadbolt that comes with this lock.
- Then install the new strike plate.
- Next, install the touch plate, then the lock’s backplate. (Note: You may need someone to hold the touchpad in place until the backplate is secured.)
- Once those are in place, connect the cable inside the lock.
- Then attach the lock mechanism to the door.
- Next, place the Yale module into its slot above the battery compartment (if purchased).
- And finally, add batteries and attach the battery cover.
After installation, you’ll need to create a master pin code in order for the door to complete the handing process.
That’s it—unless you want to connect the lock to your home network/smart home system, and then you’ll need to follow the appropriate set-up procedures.
The only caveat, which is the same for all smart locks, is to be sure that your door is aligned properly so the hole for the deadbolt lines up with the deadbolt. Otherwise, you may have issues with the deadbolt jamming or not locking.
This is mostly a one-person job, but there’s one step that may require two people, depending on how good you are at holding onto multiple items while simultaneously screwing down the interior mounting plate.
Otherwise, it’s a very simple and quick process.
For those reasons, we give this lock a 9/10 on installation.
Robustness of the App
What the app can do and how easy it is to use
This lock uses multiple third-party apps depending on which Yale module was purchased (Z-wave plus, ZigBee, HomeKit). If using the August Connect Wi-Fi module, then it uses the August app.
You also have the option of using the Yale Secure app, although it appears that most users have chosen the August app, the Apple Home app or other third-party apps to control their devices.
To be honest, there isn’t much available information about what the Yale Secure app does, and again, the FAQ section of the Yale website is less than helpful, as evidenced by the more than 400 user-answered questions about the product on Amazon.
Without a Yale module or August Wi-Fi bridge, you will only be able to create 25 access codes; however, with the modules/bridge, you can create up to 250 codes.
Really, for how few people use the Yale Secure app to control or access their locks, it’s almost like not having an app at all—and with the dearth of available information from the manufacturer about the app itself, and the fact that Yale actually recommends third-party apps (like August) to control the lock, it doesn’t appear to be well-supported.
For those reasons, the Yale Assure SL’s app gets a 5/10 in this category.
How this smart lock opens the door
This smart lock uses access codes to allow users entry into the door. Using a touchpad, you simply enter your unique access code.
Through third-party apps (if the Yale modules/wi-fi hub are purchased), you can lock and unlock the door remotely or via voice command with either Siri or Amazon Alexa. Google assistant will allow you to lock, but not unlock, the door via voice command.
Be aware that this lock does not come with a physical key and there is no way to use a physical key to lock or unlock the door.
For most buyers, that won’t be an issue, but if that’s important to you, there are several other smart locks that allow both physical key and keyless entry methods.
Because this lock is very simple to use, allows for a battery back-up just in case the other batteries die, but there’s no physical key, it gets an 8/10 in this category.
$149-$299 depending on the “upgrade” purchased
This lock retails for around $299, depending on the “upgrade” purchased (Z-wave module, HomeKit module, ZigBee module, or August Connect Wi-Fi hub bundle).
It must have one of the Yale modules or the wi-fi hub to connect remotely, which will cost between $70 and $150 more than the lock by itself. ($149 without any modules/Wi-Fi hub, between $219 and $299 with the “upgrade” depending on the upgrade purchased.)
In addition, some of the modules will still require an additional hub (such as SmartThings) in order to work with other smart devices/smart home systems.
It is convenient that this smart lock is compatible with so many other smart devices/smart home systems, but it comes at a price.
And for those looking for just a keypad lock, there are less expensive options on the market than the Yale Assure SL.
The higher-end prices, $249-$299, put this lock near the top of the smart lock price range, and unfortunately, it just doesn’t offer that many features for the price once you have it set up with your particular system.
The tamper alarm is nice, but it’s missing a place for a physical key, doesn’t have a fingerprint reader to go along with the keypad like a similarly priced competitor, and relies on the functionality of third-party apps, which vary widely from app to app.
Unfortunately, this isn’t one of the better values out there when it comes to smart locks, so it gets a 7/10 from us in the value category.
Remote Connection Type
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Both?
This smart lock requires the August Connect Wi-Fi hub or a Yale module (depending on the module purchased) in order to access Bluetooth or be controlled remotely.
Otherwise, you will only be able to control the lock through the keypad, which is where all code creation, deletion, and user options are set up without a Yale module/August Wi-Fi hub.
For this category, because there’s no remote connectivity unless a Yale module or Wi-Fi hub is purchased with the lock, but you do have the options of Z-wave plus, Zigbee, or Wi-Fi connectivity, we gave the Yale Assure SL a 9/10 here.
The Yale Assure SL is battery powered, with a low-battery indicator built into the lock.
Depending on which third-party app you choose to use (if a Yale module/August Connect wi-fi hub is purchased), you may also receive alerts through the app when the batteries get low.
It takes four AA batteries, which is pretty standard for smart locks, and should have about a one-year lifespan according to the manufacturer.
However, this lock also has a terminal to hook up a 9-volt battery in case the internal batteries die and you need to lock or unlock the door right away. This is a pretty handy feature for a smart lock to have.
We balanced the cost of replacing four batteries at once (and the frequency of replacing the batteries) against the low-battery warning feature built into the lock, and the additional battery back-up for emergencies.
Although there’s no key, being able to charge the batteries in an emergency and having the low-battery warning pushes this smart lock to an 8.5/10 in this category.
Lock attachment or full lock?
This is a complete locking system and comes with a full deadbolt assembly in addition to the touchpad and other components. This is considered to be the safest type of smart lock when compared to those that simply attach to an existing lock.
This lock was also given an ANSI 2 rating, meaning it’s a good, strong lock, but not the best lock (ANSI 1).
Because of the sturdiness of this lock, the fact that was given the “better” security grade (but not the best rating), and the fact that the deadbolt comes with the lock, we gave the Yale Assure SL an 8/10 here.
Keys or Completely Keyless Entry?
This lock only allows for keyless entry and does not come with a physical key, or even have a place to put a physical key.
While that might not bother most users, keep that in mind if you’re a person who prefers having a physical key as a back-up system.
We gave this lock an 8/10 for having a low battery warning and an emergency battery back-up system, even though there is no option for a physical key.
This smart lock comes with a lifetime warranty on the mechanical parts and finish and a 1-year warranty on the electronic components.
While not bad, we’ve seen other smart locks with two- or three-year warranties for the electronic components.
Because of the decent warranty, the Yale Assure SL smart lock earns itself an 8.5/10 here.
This smart lock comes with its own built-in alarm to let you know if someone’s tried to tamper with the lock.