A quarter of PC Advisor visitors claim to have popped their online retail cherry this Christmas with 25.9 percent buying presents over the internet for the first time, according to our latest online poll.

But online Christmas prezzie buying is old hat to twice this number (51.4 percent), who were busy giving out credit card details online this time last year.

Amazingly — to PC Advisor staff at least — nearly a quarter (22.7 percent) confessed to preferring high street shopping.

This means PC Advisor readers — that's you — are a pretty advanced lot when compared to the rest of the rest of the UK online population.

According to research company Forrester just over half (56 percent) of Britain's internet users have bought online, which goes to show what a sophisticated bunch PC Advisor readers are.

In fact while the UK lags behind other European countries in terms of take up and provision of broadband, we are streets ahead when it comes to online purchasing. Switzerland is our nearest rival with a mere 27 percent of the online population buying online.

Forrester analysts attribute the UK's leadership to the 'Freeserve' Christmas in 1999, when the first free subscription ISPs revolutionised internet access. According to Forrester research director Fraser Pearce, it generally takes people two years for internet users to start shopping online.