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Review: Yale Linus, Smart Keypad and Wi-Fi Connect Bridge

Review: Yale Linus, Smart Keypad and Wi-Fi Connect Bridge - The three Yale products do exactly what you expect but that's not all that matters.
4.6/5 - (22 votes)

Review: Yale Linus, Smart Keypad and Wi-Fi Connect Bridge: The Yale Linus is the latest smart lock from the company, which you can operate in different ways: voice, app and a keypad.

Many people don’t really like the idea yet: a smart lock for the front door. Many processes in the house are already automated or at least made smart (as in: there is an internet connection and therefore more options are available), but the lock is lagging a bit behind. And that while such an addition to your smart home creates many possibilities that would otherwise not be possible without copying your key, for example. And what about security exactly? We all look at that in this review.

We are not only looking at the lock, which we know as the Yale Linus. The product works fine on its own, but you can expand the options when you purchase two accessories. That is why we also look at the keypad and the internet module that you purchase separately in the review. These expand the possibilities of the lock considerably, so that you can also unlock or lock the door with a voice command. In addition, such a keypad can ensure an accessible use. But we’ll go into that later.Review: Yale Linus, Smart Keypad and Wi-Fi Connect Bridge

The Yale Linus

The Yale Linus is the company’s new smart lock. In contrast to, for example, the Yale Entr,  you do not have to replace your cylinder for this lock. You install the colossus on the inside of the door, with the key that you normally use. The installation process is quite simple and you can count on clear installation instructions via a YouTube video for support. It can hardly go wrong, because the lock only fits on your door one way. So this has been well thought out.

You hang the lock in two ways: with an adhesive strip or with three small screws. In either case, you have little work on it. The three small screws are tightened on the end of the cylinder, which protrudes from the inside of the door. That works fine, but it is also quite a fiddle. Moreover, the lock does not hang very stable on the door afterwards, because it is still wobbly. So tighten those screws well. It is true that the lock can easily be removed from the door afterwards by means of a click system.

If your cylinder is equipped with a panic function, you always have a handy backup at hand: your own key. Because you always have a key on the other side of the door, in some cases it may no longer be possible to open your door from the outside with the key. The Yale Linus works on batteries; and although those batteries do not drain quickly and you will receive a notification when it is almost that far, it can happen that you are standing in front of a closed door. You can therefore always enter with your own key as a backup.

The Yale Linus is available in gray and black. On the inside of your door hangs a relatively large unit with a rotary knob and a visible battery cover, which is neatly incorporated into the design. The design of the rotary knob is recognizable and reassuring: even if someone does not immediately know that this is your (smart) lock, they still understand that they have to turn the knob to unlock the door. There are no further buttons on the device, since you can adjust all settings via the free Yale Access application.

Smart functions

Once installed, you will have access to various options. This way the lock can open when you walk up. Then you always have to activate your bluetooth, wifi and location settings, of course. But when that happens, that’s cool. In this case the lock hangs on a door within a (small) flat. There is a shared front door  that leads to a staircase. The moment the undersigned walks into that hallway, the front door will open automatically.

So you have to be close to the front door for it to open automatically. Sometimes it sometimes happens that the door already opens when the letterbox downstairs is checked. Not strange, but maybe annoying to you. In any case, the lock cannot see what you are doing and only knows that you are close to the door. So the lock opens from a few meters in front of the door, which is a good thing: the Yale Linus is quite slow to turn, but it is also a lot quieter.

You can also set the lock to lock itself. This can be done immediately or after a short period, for example. You have several options at your disposal between one and a half minutes and half an hour. If you don’t like this, the automatic locking can be turned off. This also applies to automatic unlocking. If you want, you can make it a conscious act. Then you simply operate the lock via the app on your smartphone. And otherwise you will of course just keep using your key on the outside.

Digital keys and DoorSense

Just like with other smart locks, it is also possible to create digital keys with the Yale Linus. You then share those keys with friends or family, so that when they have the Yale Access app on their phone, they can go in when you are not at home. Those are those handy functions that you get used to very quickly as a user of a smart lock. If you don’t want to let them in later, you can withdraw such a digital key with the same ease. That was reversed faster than you arranged it.

You don’t have to worry about the overview. Within the Yale Access application you will see in the Activity feed when the lock is being used. You can see what time that happened and whether the front door was opened or closed. You can also see when someone manually opens the lock from the inside to such an extent that the latch is pulled inward. So that’s a pretty detailed overview. And that overview only gets more detailed when you buy the keypad and internet module (more on that later).

Linked to this is DoorSense. DoorSense is a function that can find out whether the door is open or closed. This works in conjunction with a small magnet that you hang on the door frame. Where the smart lock can determine whether the door is properly locked or not, based on the position of the night shoot, DoorSense can send a signal when a door is not closed properly. When you open the app, you will receive a message that the door is open if it is. The lock can also squeak; but if you find that annoying, turn it off.

Yale Access application

The great thing about a smart product that you set correctly once via the accompanying app is that you don’t actually use that app afterwards. After installing and setting up the Yale Linus via the free Yale Access app, we stopped using the application. Yes, we still started it up to check things (like the status of the door or adding people who can enter), but that is more because of the review. You just have to keep the app there to find out things.

That’s a bit of a meta for a text like this, but it illustrates the simplicity of using the Yale Linus. With the app you can unlock the door, but you don’t have to if you have set the Linus to open automatically when you walk up. In fact, that’s the only functionality you could return to the app for on a daily basis. The rest has to do with settings and options we mention above. The app is also clear and therefore offers no unnecessary options, making it a mess.

Yale Linus, Smart Keypad and Wi-Fi Connect Bridge

When many people use digital keys (or come in with the old key), then it is useful to keep an eye on the Activity Feed. It is neatly presented on the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen. With one tap you are there and you can see when the lock was opened and locked again (whether or not automatically). Another button that is immediately available is the guest list. Here you can see everyone who can enter. This is also the place where you withdraw the authorization.

Security and Integrations

In terms of security, you can expect a lot from a smart lock. And Yale has thought of a lot. Consider, for example, the possibility to see exactly who enters when. Or that you can withdraw authorization at any time. But the basic security, the security of the lock itself, is also well organized. There is encryption via Bluetooth Low Energy, AES 128 and TLS. This is comparable to the security level of internet banking. So if you have confidence in that, then you have confidence in the lock.

It is also nice to see that this time a lot has been invested in support for smart home platforms, among other things. You can operate the lock with the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri, and have it included in routines. For example, the lock can be locked when you give a command at the end of the day, when you dim the lights, switch off the heating and put on soothing music in one go. Of course you still have to set this up within the app of your voice assistant, but that is really easy.

Yale Smart Keypad and Wi-Fi Connect Bridge

We would normally be at the end of the review now. But Yale has also provided us with two handy, yet pricey, accessories, namely the Yale Smart Keypad and the Yale Wi-Fi Connect Bridge. The first product is a handy keypad that you hang on the outside of your door. This is another method of entry. When you set a code for yourself or someone else, you don’t have to do anything with digital keys within the app on your smartphone. So you can let someone in very easily, without hassle for the other.

Fortunately, the Smart Keypad also works without the Wi-Fi Connect Bridge. This is an internet module that we can recommend to anyone considering a Yale Linus. Not only can you connect the lock to the internet, you can also operate the lock with your voice when you are not at home. For example, if you combine the lock with a smart doorbell or the All-in-one camera from the same company, you know who is at the door when the doorbell rings. Then you can decide to open the door at that moment.

If you do not have a smart camera, someone can of course also call you to obtain access when you are not at home. If you are at home and want to unlock the lock with your voice, you must set a pin code. You have to speak that code out loud, so make sure that not everyone can hear it. The disadvantage of both accessories is: they are quite pricey. The Keypad costs another 70 euros, while the Bridge has a price of 80 euros. In addition to the price of the Linus (250 euros), that amounts to 400 euros.

The Yale Wi-Fi Connect Bridge must be hung within a radius of three meters from the lock. This can be problematic in some homes, when there is simply no (available) outlet nearby. In this house, the internet module is about four meters (as the crow flies) from the lock and there is also a thick wall in between. Although the connection is not very strong, it has not caused any problems so far. However, it is something to take into account when choosing Yale products.

Yale Linus, Smart Keypad and Wi-Fi Connect Bridge – Conclusion

We now know: if you replace a stupid or older product for something new, you often have to dig deep into your pockets. If you go for the complete set (so the Yale Linus, the Keypad and the Wi-Fi Connect Bridge) then you will lose a lot of money. It is then important to know in advance what to expect and the undersigned can say with certainty that this is an accessible and well-functioning system. The three Yale products do exactly what you can expect from them, but that’s not all that matters.

You also have to be convinced that it is good for ‘your feeling’. Because entrusting your front door to a device with a digital connection sometimes feels like a leap of faith. On a technical level, the security is good, because the Linus uses encryption via Bluetooth Low Energy, AES 128 and TLS. You can also determine at any time who can and cannot enter. Whether you only use the app or have the Keypad connected: you can remove an authorization from the system at the touch of a button.

In addition, the Linus has gained a lot of ground in terms of user-friendliness compared to the Entr. With the complete package you can enter without any physical means if you want. The voice control is especially useful, as is the support for various smart home platforms. So no shortage of options. If you combine that with the accessible character, the easy installation (with some fiddling here and there) and the security, then with the Linus you get one of the best smart locks available today.

Pros

  • You don’t have to replace a cylinder
  • Smarthome integrations
  • Accessible design
Negatives

  • Installing is a bit of fiddling
  • The lock is a bit loose on the door
  • Accessories are quite pricey

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