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Terminal Emulation

Definition of Terminal Emulation

Terminal emulation refers to the process of imitating the functionality of computer terminals through software on a modern computer or device. In simpler terms, it allows a user to access and interact with a remote computer or system as if they were using a physical terminal directly connected to it.

Origin of Terminal Emulation

The concept of terminal emulation traces back to the early days of computing when mainframe computers dominated the landscape. In those times, users interacted with these mainframes through terminals, which were essentially keyboards and monitors that allowed them to input commands and receive outputs. As computing evolved and personal computers became more prevalent, the need arose to access these mainframes remotely. Terminal emulation software was developed to bridge this gap, allowing users to connect to mainframes and other remote systems using their PCs.

Practical Application of Terminal Emulation

One practical application of terminal emulation is in the realm of legacy system access. Many organizations still rely on older mainframe systems to store critical data and run essential applications. However, modern PCs and devices cannot directly interface with these legacy systems due to differences in communication protocols and hardware. Terminal emulation software solves this problem by emulating the behavior of older terminals, enabling users to access and interact with legacy systems from their modern devices.

Benefits of Terminal Emulation

Legacy System Access: Terminal emulation software allows organizations to continue using legacy systems without the need for costly hardware upgrades or replacements. This preserves investments in existing infrastructure and ensures continuity in operations.

Enhanced Productivity: By enabling users to access remote systems from anywhere with an internet connection, terminal emulation software enhances productivity. Users can perform tasks and access information without being tied to a specific location or device.

Cost Savings: Implementing terminal emulation software is often more cost-effective than investing in new hardware or migrating to entirely new systems. It allows organizations to leverage existing infrastructure while still benefiting from modern computing capabilities.

Ease of Use: Terminal emulation software typically provides a user-friendly interface that simplifies the process of connecting to and interacting with remote systems. This lowers the barrier to entry for users and reduces the need for extensive training.


Terminal emulation software is a type of application that allows users to access and interact with remote computer systems as if they were using a physical terminal directly connected to the system.

Terminal emulation is important because it enables users to access legacy systems and remote computers from modern devices, preserving investments in existing infrastructure and enhancing productivity.

Terminal emulation benefits organizations by providing cost-effective access to legacy systems, enhancing productivity through remote access capabilities, and offering ease of use for users.


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