What does UTP, S/UTP, FTP, STP and SFTP mean?

Copper Ethernet Cables

The table below shows the different types of copper Ethernet cable and gives a brief description of each type. Electromagnetic shielding/screening can be made from a metallic or polyester foil, or metallic braid, either around individual conductor pairs, all 4 pairs, or both.

Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a are available in unshielded and shielded formats, Cat7 is only available as a shielded cable.

UTP   Unshielded Twisted Pair The UTP cable consists of pairs of wires twisted
together. This is one of the most basic methods used to 
help prevent electromagnetic interference. 
UTP cable
 STP/FTP  Shielded Twisted or
 Foiled Twisted Pair
STP and FTP offer an additional layer of
protection with shielding (also called screening)
wrapped around the individual twisted wires. 
This protects against EMI/FRI and 
crosstalk.
 STP Cable
 S/UTP & F/UTP Shielded/ Screened or 
Foiled Unshielded 
Twisted Pair
This has an overall foil or braid screen
encasing the 4 pairs of 
unshielded twisted pairs.
 S/UTP cable
 SFTP Shielded and Foiled 
Twisted Pair
 A combination of the two above, with foil shielding
around the individual twisted wires and an overall
screen which can sometimes be a flexible braid.This
provides the maximum level of protection from
interference and is found in the highest performance cables.
 SFTP cable

 

Which cable should you choose? There are a lot of considerations including flexibility, size, performance, budget and other factors. We have over 21 years experience installing copper and fibre networks and are here to help and advise you. Call us on 01488 685800 to discuss your requirements or contact us here.
 

 
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