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Difference between Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cables

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UTP is the type of twisted pair cable. It stands for Unshielded twisted pair. Both Data and voice are transmitted through UTP because its frequency range is suitable. In UTP grounding cable is not necessary also in UTP much more maintenance is not needed therefore it is cost-effective. 

Unshielded Twister Pair cable (UTP)

Features :

  • Cost-effective: UTP cables are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of network cables.
  • Easy to install: UTP cables are easy to install and terminate, which makes them a popular choice for small and medium-sized networks.
  • Vulnerable to interference: UTP cables are vulnerable to interference from nearby sources of electromagnetic radiation, such as power lines, motors, and other electrical equipment. This can cause signal degradation and data loss.
  • Limited distance: UTP cables have a limited distance over which they can reliably transmit data, typically up to 100 meters.

STP is also the type of twisted pair which stands for Shielded twisted pair. In STP grounding cable is required but in UTP grounding cable is not required. in Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) much more maintenance is needed therefore it is costlier than Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP). 

 

Features :

  • Enhanced protection: STP cables are shielded with a layer of metal foil or braided copper mesh, which provides additional protection against electromagnetic interference.
  • Better performance: STP cables can transmit data over longer distances and at higher speeds than UTP cables, making them ideal for high-bandwidth applications.
  • More complex to install: STP cables are more complex to install and terminate than UTP cables, which can increase installation costs and require specialized skills.
  • More expensive: STP cables are more expensive than UTP cables due to the additional shielding and manufacturing costs involved.

Similarities between Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cables:

  • Both UTP and STP cables use twisted pairs of copper wires for data transmission. The wires are twisted together to reduce interference and crosstalk between pairs.
  • Both UTP and STP cables are commonly used in Ethernet and other networking applications.
  • Both UTP and STP cables can be terminated with the same connectors, such as RJ-45 connectors.
  • Both UTP and STP cables can support various network standards, including Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet.
  • Both UTP and STP cables have limitations on the distance over which they can reliably transmit data, typically up to 100 meters for UTP and up to 1000 meters for STP.

Difference between Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cables: 

UTPSTP
UTP stands for Unshielded Twisted Pair.STP stands for Shielded Twisted Pair.
In UTP grounding cable is not necessary.While in STP grounding cable is required.
Data rate in UTP is slow compared to STP.Data rate in STP is high.
The cost of UTP is less.While STP is costlier than UTP.
In UTP much more maintenance is not needed.While in STP much more maintenance is needed.
In UTP noise is high compared to STP.While in STP noise is less.
In UTP the generation of crosstalk is also high compared to STP.While in STP generation of crosstalk is also less.
In UTP, attenuation is high in comparison to STP.While in STP attenuation is low.
In UTP, speed offered is about 10 to up to 1000 Mbps.While in STP speed offered is about 10 to up to 100 Mbps.
Inexpensive and eaasy to install.Expensive than UTP and difficult to install.
Maximum number of nodes 1024.Maximum number of nodes are 270.
It is used for data transmission within short distance such as for home and office networks.Generally used for connecting organizations over a long distance.
Electromagnetic interference is more in Unshielded Twisted Pair cable compared to Shielded Twisted Pair cable.Shielded Twisted Pair cable reduces Electromagnetic interference because of the protective sheath.
UTP cables categories as specified by EIA- Category-1, Category-2, Category-3, Category-4, Category-5, Category-5e, Category-6, Category-6a and Category-7.Shielded cables have commonly these configurations- Foil Shielded and Braid Shielded.

Usage-

Usage-

  • Used in frigid temperatures.
  • Used in case of lot of heat generation like for heavy industrial applications.
  • Employed under high radiation conditions and more.

Last Updated : 19 Mar, 2023
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