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UTP vs STP | difference between UTP and STP

This page on UTP vs STP describes difference between UTP and STP. UTP stands Unshielded Twisted Pair and STP stands for Shielded Twisted Pair.

Twisted pair cables are composed of two insulated wires twisted together. The advantages of twisting the cables are reduction in electromagnetic interference and crosstalk among the cables. There are two types of twisted pair cables unshieled and shielded.

UTP-Unshielded Twisted Pair

UTP consists of four pairs of twisted wires within an outer insulation jacket. Each pair is further twisted to reduce the interference. UTP cables use IEEE 10Base-T ethernet standard. The maximum length for network segment using UTP is 100 meters.

EIA/TIA classifies UTP cables into following 7 categories.

UTP category Description
Category-1 consists of cables which carry voice and not the data.
Category-2 Consists of 4 twisted pair UTP cables which can transmit data upto 4 Mbps
Category-3 Consists of 4 twisted pair UTP cables with three twists per foot which can transmit data upto 10 Mbps
Category-4 Consists of 4 twisted pair UTP cables which can transmit data upto 16 Mbps
Category-5 Consists of 4 twisted pair UTP cables which can transmit data upto 100 Mbps
Category-5e Enhanced version of catrgory-5 for larger networks
Category-6 Used for gigabit ethernet

STP-Shielded Twisted Pair

It has an outer shield or casing made of high quality copper than UTP. In addition, STP uses a foil wrap around the wires and between the wire paths. This minimizes the electrical interference.

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