Icons are small graphical representations. They are an integral part of any computer-related activities, be it desktop icons, websites, buttons used for navigation or message icons used in instant messaging. Things would really look bland without icons. Icons are provided with all programs as a default, but there is always the desire for change and new icons to give a fresh look to things. New icons for different purposes can be bought or downloaded free from websites.
For free icons there are lot of terms and conditions attached. It is agreeable to use them for personal uses like message forums, as buddy icons in messaging, as desktop icons or on a personal homepage. Permission to use free icons must be sought from the website owner if they are to be used for commercial purposes, if more than a certain number are being used or if they are redistributed on other forums and websites. In most cases, free icons can be easily downloaded and used in all kinds of programs. Many people are also unaware that their PC has a great collection of icons, and one has to run a search for them. Another way is to create icons by using special software. Icons can also be created in paintbrush programs at home.
Many websites claming to provide free icons may not really provide free icons. These are royalty-free icons that can be downloaded only after a payment is made. They provide lots of options which completely free icons may not have. They also come with terms and conditions, like completely free icons.
Downloading is very simple and just a matter of saving images with a click. The facility of free icons can add fun to a desktop or any other places were icons are used. However, owners must be respected for their effort in compiling free icons and conditions should be followed.