Shielded vs. Unshielded Network Cables

Shielded vs. Unshielded Network Cables

You may be asking yourself, what differentiates shielded vs. unshielded network cables? And which one should I choose? There are a few factors that go into choosing the right cable for your project; one is the use of the cables. For example, an airport is going to have different cabling needs compared to a home.

Shielded Twisted Pair Cables (STP)

Shielded cables have copper cables like any other standard network cable; however, there’s an additional shield to cover the twisted cables inside that typically consist of foil. The purpose of this shield is to ensure a steady signal by reducing both electromagnetic (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). STP cables are common in any scenario where the cables are near devices or equipment that can cause EMI or RFI. It’s common to find STP cables in environments such as airports and hospitals because both can experience large amounts of interference.

Unshielded Twisted Pair Cables (UTP)

On the other hand, UTP cables are the most common option for network cabling because they’re affordable and they work. Unshielded cables are especially common in homes, offices, and any other scenario that isn’t radically vulnerable to interference. Since UTP cables are common in homes, you’ll likely find these cables in shorter lengths. For instance, homes and small businesses may opt for a 100 foot Cat6 Ethernet cable, while airports and hospitals using shielded cables would likely need much larger lengths.

From this brief guide, you should have a better understanding when deciding between shielded vs. unshielded network cables. In general, shielded cables are ideal for larger organizations that drastically feel the effect of interference, while unshielded cables are best for homes and office scenarios.

If you’re currently looking to update the unshielded cables for your home, or if you’re looking to upgrade the cables in a hospital, CableWholesale has everything you’ll need. We take pride in offering the best products with lifetime warranties on most products for all our customers, all while setting the standard for excellent customer service. We look forward to serving you!


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