Nearly thirty-three million Britons are now surfing the internet, according to Jupiter MMXI. Although the vast majority of these connect via a PC (at work or home), an increasing number are doing so by way of digital TV and games consoles.

Like the rest of humanity, internet users are getting older with 26% of surfers – the largest single segment – falling within the 35-49 age group. They were closely trailed by those aged 50-plus, now grown to one-fifth of the UK online universe and grabbing third place from the 25-34 age group (18.6%).

The increasing popularity of the internet amongst older people indicates, says Jupiter, that the market is maturing. The galvanised greys are encouraged to use the web by younger members of their family and, with more time to surf, are doing so with enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, home access to the net at 61% outnumbers by nearly two to one those who log on from work-based computers. A minority of surfers, under one million, use their WAP phones to connect to the web.

Britain’s top ten global e-brands, as ranked by Jupiter, are all US-owned save for FreeServe and the BBC:

1. MSN

2. Yahoo

3. Microsoft

4. Passport

5. Freeserve

6. AOL

7. AskJeeves

8. Lycos

9. BBC

10. Google

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)