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Difference Between UTP, STP, FTP & S/FTP

What is the difference between UTP, STP, FTP, and S/FTP?

The type of shielding on a copper cable impacts its stability, performance, speed, the longevity of the cable and that of your network. These are the most widely used types of shielding available for Ethernet cables and what they mean:

  • Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cable has no shielding. This is the most used and most basic type of cable. The cable contains pairs of wires twisted together to help reduce and prevent electromagnetic interference.
  • Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cables also have twisted wires, which are then wrapped with a shielding or screening material, typically a foil wrapping or a copper braid jacket.
  • Foil Twisted Pair (FTP) cables are a bit different, with each twisted pair of cables wrapped in its own shielding of foil to protect the cable from EMI and crosstalk.
  • Shielded Foil Twisted Pair (S/FTP) cables combine FTP and STP shielding types. The wires inside the cable are twisted and then shielded with a foil wrapping, then the 4-pair grouping of foiled wires are shielded by a wrapping of either foil or a flexible braided screening. This provides the highest level of protection against EMI and crosstalk.

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