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In the network cabling system, network cables usually refer to twisted pair cables, which are usually composed of 4 pairs of 8 wires twisted together. Depending on the requirements for resistance to EMI and RFI in different application scenarios, Ethernet cables can be divided into two major categories: unshielded and shielded.

Shielding is important in environments where electronic devices, electrical noise, or other factors may disrupt the quality of data transmission. There are multiple ways to achieve shielding for shielded Lan cables.

Shielded Unshielded Ethernet Cable

Ethernet Cable Shielding Types

In the network cable industry, we usually use industry standard abbreviations to describe the Ethernet cable shielding types, which is X/XTP. The first X describes the overall shielding of the cable, while the second X describes the individual shielding of twisted pairs. And TP refers to the twisted pairs within the network cable. In addition, there are several abbreviations that we need to know. U refers to unshielded, F refers to foil shielding, and S represents braided shielding.

After understanding the above information, let’s take a look at several common examples of shielding types.


U/UTP (Unshielded Cable / Unshielded Twisted Pair), commonly abbreviated as UTP, refers to an Ethernet cable without any additional shielding. UTP cables are the most common type of network cable, widely used for Ethernet connections, suitable for environments with minimal interference, and have high cost-effectiveness.


F/UTP (Foil Shielded Cable / Unshielded Twisted Pair) cable is composed of unshielded twisted pairs and an overall foil outer shield, which can prevent interference. F/UTP cable has a simple structure and good performance, is widely used in network cabling.


S/UTP (Braid Shielded Cable / Unshielded Twisted Pair) cable refers to a network cable with an overall braided shielding layer, but the internal twisted pairs are not shielded. This structure can provide good anti-interference performance, and its manufacturing cost is also better than that of fully shielded network cables, which is common in network cabling scenarios at mid field distances.


SF/UTP (Braid and Foil and Shielded Cable / Unshielded Twisted Pair), this Ethernet cable has both foil shielding and braided shielding, while the internal twisted pairs are not shielded. This shielding structure can resist a wider range of interference frequencies, making the cable more suitable for environments with higher levels of interference.


U/FTP (Unshielded Cable / Foil Shielded Twisted Pair) cable refers to an Ethernet cable that has foil shielding layer outside each pair of twisted pair, but the entire cable does not have an overall shielding layer. This structure can effectively suppress electromagnetic interference, with better performance than UTP cables without any shielding. Low cost, good flexibility, making it a more economical and practical choice.


F/FTP (Foil Shielded Cable / Foil Shielded Twisted Pair) cables have individual pairs of wires shielded with aluminum foil and an overall outer shield. This dual shielding design can provide more external electromagnetic interference protection than individual shielding. Excellent anti-interference performance makes cables suitable for high-speed network applications with high requirements for transmission quality. 


S/FTP (Braid Shielded Cable / Foil Shielded Twisted Pair) cable is a high-performance network cable with overall braided shielding and single pair foil shielding. Dual shielding design can provide excellent anti-interference performance and is suitable for professional application scenarios that require high-speed and stable transmission. However, this type of cable has a high cost and is relatively inflexible during installation and wiring.


SF/FTP (Braid and Foil and Shielded Cable / Foil Shielded Twisted Pair) cables adopt a triple shielding design, with each pair of twisted pair having a foil shielding layer, the overall cable also has a foil shielding layer and a braid shielding layer. This can provide maximum protection against internal and external crosstalk, EMI, RFI, etc., suitable for professional application scenarios with extremely high requirements for network quality. But its production cost is high, and the triple shielding structure makes the cable bulky and less flexible, limiting its application range.


Ethernet cables have multiple structures, the specific choice of cable type depends on factors such as the environment, distance, data transmission speed, and expected level of interference. While shielded cables provide better interference protection, they are typically more expensive and less flexible than unshielded cables.  It is important to choose the appropriate cable type based on the specific requirements of the network setup to ensure reliable and high-quality data transmission.

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