Home Internet Usage Stats. Or Too Many People Online in the Bathroom!

We recently ran a survey on home internet usage on behalf of a client, just to get an idea of how it is used, by whom, and what issues people face with it. There’s no point letting information like that go to waste, so we thought we’d blog about it as there’s some interesting stuff in there – and some seriously disturbing stuff too!

To give you an idea of the demographics first, nearly half the respondents were aged 21-29, while 35% were 30-39 and a further 12.5% were 40-49. 6% were over 50. Bear those age ranges in mind when looking at the other stats…

By far the most popular use for internet in the home was social networking, with 84% of respondents using it for that purpose. This was very closely followed by browsing the web (78%) and emailing (75%).

Online shopping and streaming of music and film is becoming increasingly popular, as you would expect. 66% of those who took our survey shop online from home, while 41% stream video or film and 38% stream music.

The least popular activities were online storage (Dropbox etc) with 19%, online gaming (not as many geeks as you might imagine out there!) with 28% and file sharing (via Limewire, Pirate Bay etc) with 19%, though we think that might be one of those things you don’t admit to even if you do it!

Video calling was another relatively under-utilised function of the internet – just 28% used the likes of Skype and Oovoo. This is an area that in my opinion has been very slow to take off. It’s been around for years now, but still not many bother with it. Previously it was unreliable internet connection and poor picture and audio that prevented mas use, but for the most part those problems have been solved. What then explains the lack of growth in video calling. We don’t know…

We asked if people were happy with the speed and performance of their home wireless internet and this is where it got interesting. A whopping 41% said NO.

No? In an age of 100Mb+ broadband speeds? Surely not? Nevertheless, that’s nearly half of people who still feel it’s too slow and that can only be put down to the poor hardware supplied by broadband providers in the form of wireless routers. They’re simply not good enough to pass on the benefits of super fast broadband to the user. Which is pretty shocking really.

So what do people do when they feel they need to improve the quality of their wireless internet? According to our survey, the vast majority (56%) call their broadband provider. Well, as we’ve seen the problem doesn’t lie with them (though they did send out the below par router). Only a quarter of people realised where the real issue lay ad chose to upgrade their wireless router for a more reliable internet connection, faster speeds and wider coverage around their home.

And if the survey is anything to go by, coverage is a very important factor. We asked in which room did they do most of their wireless internet browsing. Unsurprisingly, the living room was the most common with 84.4% of the vote. The bedroom was the second most common room for internet usage, with the rest spread between kitchen, dining room and home office.

Weirdly though…and we don’t know what to make of this really…a significant 9.4% used wireless internet mostly in the BATHROOM! What are these people doing in there? We’d rather not think about it, to be honest…

The real conclusion to draw from this survey is that poor wireless routers are at the source of many people’s issues with wireless internet, but not that many either realise it or know what to do if they do. Which, we suspect, is just how the broadband providers would like to keep it.

  • Written by on 4th May 2012 at 15:00
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