Omnipod's POD goes beyond providing a secure messaging tool to being a total online desktop, allowing you to exchange messages in a variety of mediums as well as exchange files in total security.
POD has a relatively small download file (about 5MB) and is straightforward enough to install on a Windows machine. Once you are up and running, you use your unique user ID and password, provided by the company, to log into the online central server.
All the user is involved with is the POD client, because the database and back end are all hosted by Omnipod at AT&T's data center facilities. The familiar windowed layout gives you access to your messaging facilities and files held within the POD system.
The IM suite is straightforward enough, enabling you to log into, and use, existing accounts with MSN, Yahoo! and AIM, as well as POD's own in-built messaging offering. This allows you to indulge in any combination of group chat, one on one, or even secret messaging with your colleagues, and gives you the functionality to construct a multitude of buddy lists.
However it should be noted that messaging sessions that don't use POD's own messaging tool fall outside its security realm. The POD also offers a quick launch to your chosen email program and a utility to send an SMS to a mobile phone.
File transfer works just like a remote desktop and allows you to upload files which are then stored on POD's own servers. You can open up your account to share files with your colleagues or send them to your colleagues' own remote desktops. Until a file is actually downloaded to a client machine, it remains on the POD servers, meaning bandwidth is not an issue. POD uses 3 DES encryption and 168-bit SSL to give you peace of mind in terms of security.
Support also deserves a mention. Within minutes of logging into the POD system we received messages from support personnel asking if we needed help or a walk-through of the features.