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Quick Definition

An emulator is a program that is used to run software written for a different type of computer. This is done by mimicking ( ie, emulating ) the other computer's internal workings. On a fast enough machine, it's possible for an emulator to run software just as quickly and smoothly as the original hardware.

IMPORTANT: in order to legally use an emulator, you must have a valid license for the software you're running with it.

Emulating software without a valid license is a crime.