I have a good size house with the gateway on the upper west side of house, one pod in the hallway on the same floor, and two pods downstairs.
I've noticed all along it makes no sense how the devices connect. One thing I noticed is that, for example, my downstairs NEST thermostat always connects to the pod upstairs, even though there is another pod a whole 5 feet away without much traffic.
But here is the problem I can't get around: My GF, who like me, is working from home. She chooses to work here to avoid the chaos of 3 teenagers at her house. She works in an upstairs bedroom. Without fail, her laptop connects to the pod downstairs, on the other side of the house, which has the only video streaming device (xFi box) that is almost always on. Her connection constantly drops. To fix, I got her to "Forget this network", unplugged the two pods downstairs, had her rejoin the network, to force her to connect to the pod upstairs (20 ft away), which has almost no devices connected. Then I plug the pods downstairs back in and she is fine.
Please don't tell me it's a network balancing effort --- if it is, there is something terribly wrong with the algorithm. I love the xFi app. You need to update it so I can force devices to specific pods. Most users are smart enough to know what type of activity (video streaming high, music streaming medium, nest thermostat low) devices use and how to space the pods out. Or at least, they can certainly do as well as the network "un"balancing I'm experiencing. If you have any suggestions, I would welcome them.
What irritates me the most is before I went to the new gateway, my old Comcast equipment worked just fine with my 1 extender in the house, and it was much cheaper. But the new gateway won't work with non-comcast extenders??? In my opinion, the pods don't do well either, but you offer no alternative.