Flushing out the secrets of America's websurfers, a new survey of Internet use has found that more and more people are logging on -- in the bathroom.

The snapshot of how the Internet has changed American life, concluded that home wireless connections were allowing people to stay connected everywhere -- even in the smallest room in the house.

"A significant number of Americans use the computer connection in the bathroom," said Jeffrey Cole, of the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future.

Since people were unlikely to be surfing in the bath, or while brushing their teeth, Cole said he had concluded that many of them went off into cyberspace while on the throne.

"Over half of those who used Wi-fi had used it in the bathroom," said Cole, remarking that he believed some people in busy homes retreated there for some privacy.

"It wasn't for comic relief -- it was a genuine finding," he said, referring to the survey during an advance briefing to amused US congressional staffers on Friday.

"We didn't use a specific question 'if you use it on the toilet, is it with the lid open, or closed?" he joked.

The survey, the fifth annual snapshot of how America uses the Internet, is due to be released on Tuesday.