Shielded vs. Unshielded Cabling
Installers of data cabling frequently question whether ordinary unshielded cable (UTP) is adequate or if more expensive shielded cable (FTP) is required. Unshielded Ethernet cable is referred to as “UTP” while shielded Ethernet cable is referred to as “STP” by installers informally. Surely shielded is preferable? Let’s examine the similarities and differences between shielded and unshielded networking cable before deciding which is “better.
Unshielded and shielded Ethernet cable:
● Both types of cables fulfill the same fundamental task, which is the transmission of data
signals and perhaps PoE (Power over Ethernet) from one location to another.
● Have four color-coded twisted pairs made out of eight inner wires.
● To reduce internal pair to pair crosstalk, it might contain an internal “spline” cross skeleton. To help achieve the necessary performance to transmit data at greater rates, splines are frequently encountered in Cat6 and Cat6A Ethernet cable.
● Usually include a rip cord to open the cable jacket, but you usually need a strip tool to get concentric ends.
● Use RJ45 8P8C connections, patch panels, and keystone jacks for termination.
● Always terminated in compliance with T568A or T568B standards.
● Both forms of cable termination are generally done using the same set of tools. Both forms of cable termination are generally done using the same set of tools.
● Given that the surrounding temperature is 68°F or less, run length distances for both cable types are the same. Shielded cable is not utilized to get around the standard length restrictions, but it might be useful in hotter environments.
● Shielded Cabling contains a dedicated ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) drain wire to help drain off static electricity build up in the cable. The drain wire works in conjunction with the cable shield.
● Due to their weight, restricted allowable bend radii, general structure, and cable thickness, shielded cables are more difficult to install.
● Installing unshielded cabling is less complicated. Shielded Cabling needs to be correctly bonded to the ground because failing to do so can result in problems rather than resolving or avoiding them.
● In order for shielded cables to function as intended, more expensive shielded connecting hardware is required.
● Unshielded Cables are Cheaper.
● Shielding can be in the form of aluminum foil, aluminum braid, or both.
Do I need shielded cable?
In order to tell if you need shielded cabling look at the environment the cable will be installed in. Shielded cabling is suited best for walls, and typically go alongside AC wiring. Close proximity to high voltage wiring or generators/electric motors also is something that would require shielded
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