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What is STP(Shielded Twisted Pair)?

Last Updated : 05 Jan, 2024
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Today, people can very easily communicate with one another no matter the distance that might lie before them. All of this has been made possible by inventions like the telephone, the computer, etc. It has brought people together and that is only made possible by the specific way in which the system has been built – which is to say that one must keep into mind all that little parts that have made the system possible. In that regard, there is something which can be described as making possible a whole list of processes in today’s contemporary world – the Shielded Twisted Pair of cables. As is evident from its name, this copper wiring has an outer covering or “shield” on top of the lay wires that constitute it.



This kind of wiring – the twisted pair cabling – was invented by ALexander graham Bell – yes, the same person who invented the telephone – in 1881. By the next nineteen years, Alexander Graham Bell with this teensy tiny invention had literally changed the scener of the American telephone network where every telephone in America, from the east coast to the west coast, used this kind of cabling. These replaced the earlier kind of wiring that was used in telephones prior to the invention of these kinds of wires – single-wire earth return circuits.

The problem emerged when the electric trams that were eventually introduced in many cities started to make a lot of noise and thus, interfered into the working of these circuits. This problem was partially solved by moving to balanced circuits in telephone usage but as electrical power distribution became widespread, this measure also proved inadequate. The growing use of electricity once again presented an interference.

All of these problems were solved in full measure by the sort of twisted cabling that Alexander Graham Bell invented and that many engineers envisioned and implemented. The twisted conductors insulated the wires or were “shielded” by a braided mesh that facilitated noise reduction and enabled less interference.

Types of STP

  • Screened Foiled Twisted Pair (S/FTP): The S/FTP cables are made up of individual foil shields surrounding each twisted pair of conductors in addition to an overall braided shield (screen). The overall shield and each individual pair shield work together to offer stronger defence against electromagnetic interference.
  • Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP): Description: Every twisted pair of an FTP cable is encircled by an overall foil shield. Although this design offers some immunity to interference, it is not as strong as S/FTP, which consists of both individual pair shields and an overall shield.

Usage and Applications

  • Telephone Wiring: Shielded Twisted Pair is a special kind of copper telephone wiring which is used in some commercial installations.
  • In extreme cold: The most common use of the shielded twisted pair kind of cabling comes in extreme cold weathers where the extra layer of outer covering makes it ideal for withstanding such temperatures or for protecting the inner constituents. It is good for research in places where temperatures can go to sub-zero and can make ordinary wires useless.
  • Industry: These wires can be used in heavy industrial scenarios where extreme heat is produced. The same logic which makes these wires suitable for use in cold weather makes it suitable in this scenario as well.
  • High-Radiation Environment: These are also suitable for use in high radiation environments which do not allow a wide leeway to humans.


  • The electrical noise which can plague the wires otherwise can be prevented and sidestepped altogether
  • Crosstalk can also be minimized by that very same token of insulation
  • It is very accessible to the ordinary masses as it is easy to handle and also easy to install


  • These wires can be deformed which implies that it is susceptible to electromagnetic interference and this can limit the wire’s performance
  • There is also a set of delays that can percolate due to the different delays that might occur within the different pairs of the cable. This can degrade the quality of the work that one might be doing
  • There can also be an imbalance between different wires used in the same system. thus, heterogeneity can also pose a problem


The shielded twisted pair is able to withstand a number of externalities but fall prey to internal disturbances. If one is to use them, then one needs to make sure that these internal disturbances do not disrupt one’s operation or purpose. If that is taken into account, the shielded twisted pair of wires can prove to be as useful to us as building blocks were to the primitive man.

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