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What is UTP(Unshielded Twisted Pair)?

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As areas of human enterprise throw open new doors of possibilities, one must stop to examine how exactly that comes to be before one overzealously steps over the bounds of human ingenuity that demarcate and define these new arenas. The Unshielded Twisted Pair has made a lot of the modern technology functional and is hence an integral part of the same. Since an Unshielded Twisted Pair is a very basic component, it is widely used by people today and because of its advantages, it is also preferred by some as compared to the other alternatives out there. What-is-UTP


That boundary was pushed and expanded in 1881 when Alexander Graham Bell invented the twisted pair type of cabling. More specifically, when he invented the unshielded twisted pair type of cabling. The unshielded twisted pair cable is a hundred-ohm copper cable that is constitutive of unshielded twisted pairs which range anywhere from two to one thousand and eight hundred. They have no metallic covering on top of the twisted wires. This has the advantage of making the cable smaller in diameter. In theory, the twist in an unshielded twisted pair of cables helps to make the cable immune and impervious to electrical noise and electromagnetic interference. These were exactly the sort of problems that Alexander Graham Bell wanted to do away with when he invented the twisted pair of cables.

Usage and Applications

  • This twisted pair of cabling was meant to replace the earlier single-wire earth return cables that were frequently disturbed by noise due to electric trams in the 1880s.
  • This type of cabling can be perfectly used for digital transmission. The bandwidth that can be supported depends on the distance to be traveled by the signal.
  • Since, the unshielded twisted pair is one that has a small diameter and is thin, it can be laid down for large distances. Thus, most of our adventures in the virtual realm are made possible by the unshielded twisted pair. It would not be far from the truth if somebody says that this very minor and subtle component underpins our entire digital structure. In reality, then, the uses of these cables are limitless and are indeed infinite.
  • The purpose of a twisted pair of cables is to reduce the disturbances that accrue as a result of the electromagnetic interference on an electronic information signal. If one takes into consideration that these externalities can result from a number of omnipresent sources like nearby power cables or even from other data in the same cable, we can clearly see the crucial part of the unique design of unshielded twisted pair plays in facilitating its and ultimately, our operations.
  • Through the twisting of the signal conductors around each other, any interference that would affect one would also affect the other thereby, letting the amplified signal remaining the same – as it based on the difference between the two.
  • They have a higher quality of signal transmission over long distances and are, therefore, ideal for high-speed computer transmission. By the same token, they are also used in analog and digital telephony, ie, LAN, etc.


  • Electromagnetic interference.
  • Like its other counterpart – the shielded twisted pair – it minimizes crosstalk. Because of the low level of complexity, the twisted pair is easy to handle and also economical to put in use.


  • Since the signal conductors are twisted around each other, there is a greater chance of the wire being deformed. And if that is so, its susceptibility to the electromagentic interference increases which thereby, defeats the entire purpose.
  • If the twist rate is not uniform, there can be delays within the cable and this can lead to lossy transmission. Usually, these disadvantages weigh heavy over and above the advantages, and as such, in practice, most of the unshielded twisted pairs are very badly affected by electromagnetic interference.
  • The quality of the cable depends on the number of twists and as such, there is a high potential of error because the more the twists, the more the room for non-uniform twisting. However, to argue for a shield on top of the wires to make something that resembles its counterpart – the shielded twisted pair – would be futile because that is used especially in cases where one needs to withstand the extremities of temperature. The twists in an unshielded twisted pair form a sort of natural shield making another physical shield unnecessary.

It is true that in practice, interference in an unshielded twisted pair is high but if we take into cognizance that fact and work accordingly, then our operations can be managed effectively and maybe even better.

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Last Updated : 20 Mar, 2023
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