Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) is a ubiquitous type of copper cabling used in call wiring and local area networks (LANs). There are five types of UTP cables -- identified with the prefix CAT, together in classification -- each sustaining a various amount the bandwidth.

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Alternatives to UTP cable incorporate coaxial cable and also fiber optic cable. There room benefits and tradeoffs come each type of cabling, but extensively speaking, many enterprises favor UTP cable because of its short cost and ease that installation.

How UTP cables work: Twisted pair design

Inside a UTP cable is up to 4 twisted bag of copper wires, enclosed in a protective plastic cover, with the greater number of pairs corresponding to an ext bandwidth. The two individual wires in a solitary pair space twisted roughly each other, and also then the pairs room twisted roughly each other, as well. This is excellent to alleviate crosstalk and electromagnetic interference, every of which deserve to degrade network performance. Each signal ~ above a twisted pair needs both wires.

Twisted pairs room color-coded to make it simple to determine each pair. In phibìc America, one cable in a pair is determined by one of five colors: blue, orange, green, brown or slate (gray). This wire is paired v a wire from a different shade group: white, red, black, yellow or violet. Typically, one wire in a pair is solid-colored, and the second is striped v the shade of its friend -- e.g., a hard blue wire would be paired v a white-and-blue striped cable -- for this reason they have the right to be quickly identified and also matched.

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Different uses, such together analog, digital and also Ethernet, require various pair multiples.

The twisted-pair design was developed by Alexander Graham Bell in 1881.

Types the UTP cables

The 5 categories of UTP cable are identified by the TIA/EIA 568 standard:

CAT4: frequently used in token ring networks, CAT4 supports 16 Mbps for up to 100 meters. CAT5: offered in Ethernet-based LANs, CAT5 has two twisted pairs. It supports 100 Mbps for approximately 100 meters. CAT6: used in Ethernet-based LANs and data center networks, CAT6 contains four tightly wound twisted pairs. It support 1 Gbps for approximately 100 meters and also 10 Gbps for up to 50 meters.

The most typical connector used with UTP cable is an RJ-45.

Shielded vs. Unshielded twisted pair cables

The unshielded in UTP describes the lack of metallic shielding roughly the copper wires. By its really nature, the twisted-pair architecture helps minimize digital interference by providing balanced signal transmission, making a physical shield unnecessary. In addition, various twist prices -- the is, varying the quantity of twists in between different bag -- can also be supplied to alleviate crosstalk. Due to the fact that these protections come from how the wires room physically set out, bending or stretching a UTP cable too much can damages the pairs and make interference more likely to occur.

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In a shielded twisted pair (STP), the wires room enclosed in a shield that functions as a ground connection mechanism. This is done to administer greater defense from electromagnetic interference and also radio frequency interference; however, STP cable is more expensive and difficult to install, contrasted with UTP.

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This to be last updated in April 2019
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