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Yale Smart Locks Review (Including Nest x Yale)

We review Yale smart locks to find the best.
Written by | Updated February 11, 2020
Best Keyless Lock
Nest-x-Yale-LockNest x Yale Lock
  • Attractive design
  • Longer warranty
  • Attractive design
  • Longer warranty
Best for Smart Homes
Yale Assure Lock SLYale Assure Lock SL
  • Keyless
  • Smart home flexibility
  • Keyless
  • Smart home flexibility
Best Door Handle
Yale Assure Lever TouchscreenYale Assure Lever Touchscreen
  • Replaces handles
  • Touchscreen keypad
  • Replaces handles
  • Touchscreen keypad

Go with Nest x Yale or Yale Assure Lock SL

We can’t get enough of the Nest x Yale and Yale Assure Lock SL. These locks are sleek, and their keyless designs eliminate the need to carry around a key.

Both locks have intuitive mobile apps and are easy to swap with an existing deadbolt using a screwdriver.

Nest x Yale Smart Lock

The Nest x Yale barely edges out the Yale Assure Lock SL as our favorite Yale smart lock because we like the excellent Nest app, curved design, and longer warranty. It’s the one to get if you use Google Assistant or have other Nest devices.

Yale Assure Lock SL

Still, the Assure Lock SL is a solid competitor, especially if you get the Connected by August version, which gives it superpowers like auto-unlock and open-door detection. These features are helpful in case you’re carrying groceries or if your kids sometimes leave the door open on their way outside.

While we think Yale’s other smart locks are great, they’re all Assure models with roughly the same features as the SL but not nearly as visually appealing.

Explore our Yale smart locks review to find one worthy of adorning your door.

Yale Smart Lock Comparison

Model
Image
List Price*
Physical Key Option
Smart Home Compatibility
Learn More
Nest x Yale Yale Assure Lock SL Yale Assure Lever Touchscreen Yale Assure Lock Keypad Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen
Nest x Yale Lock Yale Assure Lock SL Yale Assure Lever Touchscreen Yale Assure Lock Keypad Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen
$279 $299 $299 $259 $279
No
X
No
X
Yes
Yes
Yes
Google Assistant, Nest Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant
View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon

*Amazon.com list price as of 02/07/2020 at 2:00 p.m. (MT). Full disclaimer.


Yale Smart Locks Similarities and Differences

Before we dig into what makes each Yale smart lock special, let’s explore some standard features you can find in every model. We’ll also highlight the critical differences between Yale’s Assure series of locks and the Nest x Yale.

Similarities

Here are some features you’ll find in every Yale smart lock, which should make it easier to choose from Yale’s wealth of options.

Finishes

Yale offers smart locks in three finishes: satin nickel, polished brass, and oil rubbed bronze. This lets you match the lock to your existing handle in case you don’t want to buy a new one.

Yale Lock Finishes

Yale locks come in three finishes: satin nickel, polished brass, and oil rubbed bronze.

Mechanical Warranty

Aside from the electronic components, Yale smart locks all provide a lifetime warranty that covers the mechanical parts and exterior finish of the lock. This is common in smart locks.

ANSI Grade 2

All of Yale’s smart locks have a security rating of ANSI/BHMA Grade 2 (Grade 1 is highest). They aren’t as strong as the Schlage Connect, a Grade 1 lock, but are ideal for use in residential settings.

Automatic Lock

You can set each lock to relock automatically after you open the door. With Yale Assure models, the lock engages after 30 seconds, which is long enough for most people. The Nest x Yale lets you choose between 10 seconds, one minute, and five minutes.

While everyone benefits from automatic locking, it’s most useful for people who often forget to lock the door or people trying to develop better security habits.

Keypads

All of Yale’s smart locks have a keypad for quick access without a smartphone. You can also give out custom keycodes to trusted friends and family. Most of the models have an attractive touchscreen keypad, but there’s also a cheaper version with physical buttons instead.

Batteries

Each of these locks uses four AA batteries with an average battery life of about one year. If the batteries die while you’re away from home, most Yale smart locks let you manually open the lock using a physical key.

Key-free models like the Yale Assure Lock SL and Nest x Yale don’t use physical keys, but you can connect a 9-volt battery to terminals on the bottom of the keypad for temporary power to get in.

Yale’s keyless locks (Nest x Yale pictured) have 9V backup battery terminals on the bottom of the keypad.

Installation

The installation process takes less than 30 minutes and requires a screwdriver and a smartphone. In the rare case when you don’t have the appropriate holes in your door and door frame, you’ll need a power drill. You can also hire a locksmith if you don’t want to install the lock yourself.

After installation, put in the batteries and radio module. Follow the instructions to connect the lock to a Wi-Fi network or smart hub so you can use the mobile app.

Differences

There are four differences between the Nest x Yale and Yale Assure that are worth noting: modules, mobile apps, electronics warranties, and the number of key codes.

Yale Assure Modules

One of the unique things about Yale Assure locks is that they’re modular, meaning you buy a base lock and a radio module for whichever smart home system you use.

This means that you don’t have to buy an entirely new lock if you switch smart home platforms down the line, just a new module.

Yale sells four modules:

  • The Connected by August module ($129) gives your lock Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality. With this module, you can connect your lock to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri (Apple HomeKit). It adds a few features like DoorSense and auto-unlock, making it the most expensive module. Still, the added flexibility is worth it.
  • The Apple HomeKit module ($49) communicates directly with Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
  • The Z-Wave module ($49) works with smart home hubs like Samsung SmartThings.
  • The Zigbee module ($49) works with smart home hubs like the Amazon Echo Plus and Samsung SmartThings.

Shut The Door

The Connected by August module includes August’s DoorSense feature, which detects when your door’s open. DoorSense is a handy way to prevent the deadbolt from engaging prematurely. The August app can also automatically unlock the lock as you approach the door, so you get benefits on both sides of the door.

The Nest x Yale doesn’t use a module but has built-in Bluetooth and Thread (similar to Zigbee) radios that allow it to communicate with your smartphone and other Nest hardware.

yale assure homekit

Yale Assure smart locks have interchangeable radio modules for different smart home systems (Apple HomeKit module pictured).

Mobile Apps

Depending on the module you use in your Yale Assure lock, there are a variety of mobile app experiences. If you have the Connected by August module, you’ll use the August app, which is one of our favorite smart lock apps because it’s very easy to use.

If you have the HomeKit module, you’ll control the lock using Siri and the Apple Home app on a variety of Apple products. While the HomeKit controls aren’t as full-featured as the August app, it’s a great way to control all of your HomeKit compatible devices from the same app instead of jumping between different apps across your smart home.

If you choose either the Z-Wave or Zigbee module, you’ll need a smart home hub like Samsung SmartThings (Z-Wave and Zigbee) or Amazon Echo Plus (Zigbee) to control the lock. In this case, you can expect to use the app from whichever hub you have, which may or may not be a good thing depending on the app.

Unlike the modular Yale Assure locks, the Nest x Yale requires the Nest app or Google Home app. Both of these apps are quite easy to use, but unless you already use Google Assistant or other Nest products, you’ll want a Yale Assure lock for Amazon Alexa or HomeKit.

Nest x Yale Electronics Warranty

Nest products typically have longer warranties than other smart home products, and the Nest x Yale is no different. It has a two-year warranty on electronic components where similar Yale smart locks offer only one year of coverage.

Number of Key Codes

The Nest x Yale tops out at 20 codes while Yale Assure locks hold up to 25 codes. If you connect Yale Assure locks to an app or smart home system, each can hold up to 250 codes. You might want more capacity if you’re a landlord or run a small business.


Yale Smart Lock Reviews

1. Nest x Yale: Best Keyless Lock

Best Keyless Lock
Nest-x-Yale-Lock

Nest x Yale

The Nest x Yale is the best standalone Yale smart lock for people that want only mobile app controls. The Nest app has more customizable settings than other Yale locks like setting the delay of auto-lock. Another feature we like is that it helps you set up secure codes for your family, so a burglar can’t guess the code by using the most common codes like 1234 and 0000.

We like its long two-year warranty because no other Yale smart lock has it. If you have a Nest or Google smart home, we think this is the best smart lock to get. Still, it’s not a good option if you use Alexa or Siri.

On the aesthetic front, the Nest x Yale’s minimalist design turns your door into a high-tech gateway.


2. Yale Assure Lock SL: Best for Smart Homes

Best for Smart Homes
Yale Assure Lock SL

Yale Assure Lock SL

The Yale Assure Lock SL is the best Yale lock for a smart home because of its flexible radio modules, especially the Connected by August version. We like the August-specific abilities like auto-unlock and DoorSense, which tells you when the door’s open.

Even though the Connected by August version costs $299, we prefer it over other modules because it works with the most popular smart home systems like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant. The Yale Assure Lock SL costs around $20 to $40 more than other models, making it the most expensive Yale smart lock.


3. Yale Assure Lever Touchscreen: Best Door Handle

Best Door Handle
Yale Assure Lever Touchscreen

Yale Assure Lever Touchscreen

If you have a door without a deadbolt lock, then you can replace the handle with the Yale Assure Lever Touchscreen. Even if your exterior doors have deadbolts, this handle is surprisingly useful on interior doors in your home. You could secure a closet full of valuables or separate your home business from the rest of your home.

This door handle also comes in key-free versions and versions with physical buttons on the keypads.


4. Yale Assure Lock Keypad: Best for Physical Buttons

Best for Physical Buttons
Yale Assure Lock Keypad

Yale Assure Lock Keypad

If you want a simpler lock without a touchscreen keypad, opt for the Yale Assure Lock Keypad. A physical keypad gives you tactile feedback, which is helpful if you have vision problems and need to feel the buttons before pressing them. It also works when you’re wearing thick gloves in the wintertime, which don’t work too well with touchscreen keypads.

In addition to the keypad, you can open your door with a physical key, which is helpful in case you have trouble remembering key codes or don’t always carry a smartphone. This way you can give out codes to your friends and family members instead of giving them a spare key.


5. Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen: Best for Physical Keys

Best for Physical Keys
Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen

Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen

The only reason to get the Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen is if you want the option to use a physical key to bypass the keypad but don’t want physical buttons like on the Yale Assure Lock Keypad.

If you’re not attached to physical keys, the Yale Assure Lock SL is the better option since it’s less bulky for slightly more money.


Which Yale Smart Lock is Best?

The Nest x Yale is perfect for Google-based smart homes, while the Yale Assure Lock SL (Connected by August) is a great option that covers Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google. While the design and warranty of each lock differs slightly, the lock you choose mostly depends on the smart home system you use.


Yale Smart Lock FAQ

Does the Yale lock work without Wi-Fi?

Yes, you can use the keypad or a physical key to open your door without Wi-Fi. You can also add new codes and change most of the settings using the lock’s keypad.

Wi-Fi is required only when you need to use a mobile app for remote access or want an easier way to change settings. All Yale locks (no matter which module you get) require an adapter or smart hub to access your Wi-Fi network.

Here’s a list of the Wi-Fi adapters you can use with Yale smart locks:

Lock or ModuleWi-Fi Adapter
Nest x YaleGoogle Nest Connect (included) or
Google Nest Guard (optional)
Connected by August ModuleAugust Connect (included)
HomeKit ModuleRequires Apple TV, HomePod, or iPad
Z-Wave ModuleRequires Z-Wave smart hub
Zigbee ModuleRequires Zigbee smart hub

Is the Nest x Yale lock secure? Can it be hacked?

Google Nest uses encrypted radio frequencies to reduce hacking risks. Even with encryption, no product is completely unhackable, so it’s essential to do your part by setting strong passwords on your smartphone, wireless network, and Google account.

Why do some Yale locks use the August app?

Yale and August are both divisions of Assa Abloy, a Swedish company that manufactures security products like locks and access control solutions. Assa Abloy acquired August in 2017.

After the acquisition, Yale collaborated with August to create the Connected by August module for its smart locks. Only Yale locks with this module work with the August app.

What are ANSI/BHMA security ratings?

Security ratings indicate how well a lock resists lockpicking and brute force attempts to get past the lock. The standards governing locks come from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA).

Under the ANSI/BHMA grading system, Grade 1 locks have the highest rating, making them an excellent choice for businesses and homes alike. While Grade 2 locks aren’t as robust, they’re more than enough for most homes. We recommend using Grade 1 or Grade 2 locks if you want the best security.


Things to Consider before Buying a Yale Smart Lock

Once you choose the Yale smart lock style that you want, double-check that you’re getting the right module for your smart home system. If you haven’t settled on a smart home system yet but want the option later, get a version without a module to avoid spending money on a module you’ll never use.

If you’re not sure that a Yale smart lock is the right choice, check out our review of the best smart locks to see if there’s a better option for your home.


How We Evaluated Yale Smart Locks

In my time as a security expert, I’ve used dozens of smart locks including the Nest x Yale, Yale Assure Lock SL, and Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen. I used those experiences to ground my conclusions about the other two locks in our comparison: Yale Assure Lock Keypad and Yale Assure Lever Touchscreen.

When I started my research, I narrowed down which models I wanted to highlight based on how useful they are in different situations. To simplify the comparison, I focused on the Connected by August features of Yale Assure locks rather than jumping between different smart home platforms.

I spent around two hours researching Yale’s website to learn the features in each lock and also looked through online customer reviews for a few hours to get a picture of how people use their smart locks. You can learn more about how we evaluate products in our full methodology.

Disclaimer

*Amazon.com list price as of 02/07/20 02:00 pm MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Written by John Carlsen

John is a technology journalist with over six years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech. Before joining SafeWise in 2020, John was an editor for Top Ten Reviews specializing in home security and the smart home. Learn more

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