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Difference between Coaxial Cable and Twisted Pair Cable

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Prerequisite – Types of Transmission Media 

Coaxial Cable: 


Coaxial Cable is a category of guided media that is used to perform the transmission of large frequency signals. Coaxial cable constitutes a solid conductor, three coats of insulation, and a grounding conductor. In coaxial cables, the inner solid conductor helps in transmitting the signals in the form of electrical signals. Coaxial cables are commonly used in internet connections, television signal distribution, and radio transmissions. 

 

Advantages:

  • Better shielding: Coaxial cable has a better shielding than twisted pair cable, which reduces signal interference from external sources and improves the overall signal quality.
  • Longer distance: Coaxial cable can transmit signals over longer distances than twisted pair cable, making it suitable for large networks.
  • Higher bandwidth: Coaxial cable has a higher bandwidth than twisted pair cable, which means it can transmit data at faster speeds.


Disadvantages:

  • Cost: Coaxial cable is more expensive than twisted pair cable, which can make it cost-prohibitive for some organizations.
  • Difficulty of installation: Coaxial cable is thicker and less flexible than twisted pair cable, which can make it difficult to install, especially in tight spaces.
  • Limited availability: Coaxial cable is not as widely used as twisted pair cable, which can make it difficult to find in some areas.

Twisted Pair Cable : 

Twisted Pair Cable is a category of guided media in which a circuit is made by twisting two wires to perform transmission. Twisted pair cable constitutes a combination of insulated copper wires. In twisted pair cable, metallic copper wire helps in transmitting the signals in the form of electrical signals. Twisted Pair Cables are mostly used in telephone networks and cable shielding. 


 

Advantages:

  • Cost: Twisted pair cable is less expensive than coaxial cable, making it a more affordable option for many organizations.
  • Easy to install: Twisted pair cable is thinner and more flexible than coaxial cable, which makes it easy to install, especially in tight spaces.
  • Availability: Twisted pair cable is widely used and readily available, making it easy to find in most areas.


Disadvantages:

  • Signal interference: Twisted pair cable is more susceptible to signal interference from external sources, which can degrade the signal quality.
  • Limited distance: Twisted pair cable can transmit signals over shorter distances than coaxial cable, which makes it unsuitable for large networks.
  • Limited bandwidth: Twisted pair cable has a lower bandwidth than coaxial cable, which means it can transmit data at slower speeds.

 Similarities between coaxial cable and twisted pair cable:

  • Both can transmit data: Coaxial cable and twisted pair cable are both used for data transmission in networking.
  • Both have multiple layers: Both coaxial cable and twisted pair cable have multiple layers of insulation and shielding to protect the signal from external interference.
  • Both are used for different applications: Both coaxial cable and twisted pair cable are used for different applications in networking, such as in LANs, WANs, and internet connections.
  • Both can support different transmission protocols: Both coaxial cable and twisted pair cable can support different transmission protocols such as Ethernet, Token Ring, and FDDI.
  • Both have different variations: Both coaxial cable and twisted pair cable have different variations depending on their characteristics and usage, such as thinnet and thicknet for coaxial cable, and UTP and STP for twisted pair cable.

The difference between Coaxial Cable and Twisted Pair Cable are as follows: 

S. No.Coaxial cableTwisted Pair Cable
1.In coaxial cable, the transmission of signals happens via the inner conductor of the cable.In twisted pair cable, the transmission of signals happens via metallic conducting wire.
2.Speed is up to 10 Mbps.Speed is up to 10 Gbps.
3.Coaxial cables are difficult to install and implement.While twisted pair cables are easy to install and implement.
4.Coaxial cable has the finest noise protection as compared to twisted pair cable.In twisted pair cable, there is lowest noise immunity.
5.Coaxial cable supports a bandwidth of moderate range.Twisted pair cable supports a bandwidth of low range.
6.Applications of coaxial cable are in internet connections, television signal distribution, and radio transmissions, etc.Applications of twisted pair cable are in telephone networks and cable shielding.
7.Cost of coaxial cable is comparatively expensive.Cost of a twisted pair cable is less as compared to a coaxial cable.
8.Coaxial Cable have node capacity of 30 to 100 per segment.The node capacity of twisted pair cable is 2 per segment.
9.Types- RG-6, RG-11, RG-59Types- Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)  
10.Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) does not impact much Coaxial cable.Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) impacts twisted pair cable.
11.Low attenuationHigh attenuation

Conclusion:

The choice between coaxial cable and twisted pair cable depends on the specific requirements of the networking application. Coaxial cable is more suitable for applications that require long distance transmission, high bandwidth, and resistance to interference. Twisted pair cable is more suitable for applications that require easy installation, compatibility with modern networking technologies, and cost-effectiveness.


Last Updated : 17 Mar, 2023
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