Over 50 percent of UK population has used the internet in the last three months, according to the latest figures from the National Statistics Omnibus Study, with just under half having access from their homes. This latter figure has grown over five times in the past five years, but equality is still some way off when it comes to web use.
The figures also reveal that the majority of internet users are aged from 16-24, with 85 percent of this age group having recently used the net. Figures stay relatively high up to the age of 54, but silver surfers are still lagging well behind the youth, with only 39 percent logging on in the last three months.
While mobile operators may tout the benefits of their multipurpose handhelds and TV companies touting their web services, the most popular means of accessing the internet remains via a computer. Just 10 percent of respondents admitting to surfing on their phone and the numbers accessing the net via their TV were too small to count.
As well as being creatures of habit when it comes to how we access the internet, we're also stuck in our ways as to where we access it too. Despite the growing number of hotspots in public places and the proliferation of internet cafes, the top location to get online is at home (83 percent), followed by at work (43 percent).
Men are still keener on the web than women, with 59 percent accessing it in the last three months, as opposed to 52 percent of women, and nearly half of the men surveyed had used it every day, whereas only 35 percent of women had.
But if we are all using the net so much more, what are we using it for? Top of the list of internet use are email and searches for information. But booking holidays online is proving more popular than ever, with 59 percent of surfers booking travel, accommodation or holidays online.
As we seem more willing to part with our credit card details to indulge in a bit of cyber retail therapy, worries about e-commerce security would appear to have eased. But these concerns seem to have been replaced by complaints about junk mail, 44 percent of users said they received too much spam, and considered this a security risk.
The popularity of the internet continues to grow, but despite our increasing enthusiasm, most of us are still dialling up for access (78 percent), with just 20 percent signing up for broadband contracts. While 23 percent of the population still hold firm against the internet, stating that they have not and will not consider using the net.