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What is an emulator?

Sheza Munir

An emulator is a computer program or hardware equipment that can simulate/imitate one computer system by using another system.

Why we use emulators

An emulator can help the user run older programs that are no longer supported on current systems. More importantly, emulators allow the users to run cross-platform applications. For instance, an application that is only available on MacOS can be run on a Windows machine using an emulator. As such, emulators bridge the gap between devices and allow users to run programs that may not be supported by built-in software.

A PC emulating the functionality of a cell phone

Benefits of emulators

Emulators have numerous benefits, some of which are highlighted below:

  • They allow an alternate path to run consoles that are no longer supported
  • They are a good alternative to expensive pieces of software or hardware
  • They can be used to play video games and run different operating systems

Drawbacks of using emulators

Emulators also have some drawbacks, which are highlighted below:

  • They are often slower than the system they are imitating, as the dedicated hardware is not available.
  • There is a legal risk involved, as some emulators are downloaded illegally.
  • Downloaded emulators may bring viruses to your computer, so it is important to be careful while downloading and using them.

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