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What is a Twisted Pair Cable?

Twisted pair network cable is currently the most commonly used network cable in LANs, used for connecting devices. It involves twisting two metal wires (usually copper) with insulation protection layers at a certain density, and the electric waves radiated by one wire during transmission will be offset by the electric waves emitted by the other wire, effectively reducing the degree of signal interference. Generally, the denser the twisting, the stronger its anti-interference ability. The twisted pair network cables we see in daily life are made up of 4 pairs of 8 wires of different colors twisted together.

Twisted Pair Network Cable

Types of Twisted Pair Cable

According to the classification of frequency and signal to noise ratio, twisted pair cables can be divided into: Category 1, Category 2, Category 3, Category 4, Category 5, Category 5E, Category 6, Category 6A, Category 7, Category 7A and Category 8.

Category No. of Pairs Transmission Frequency Transmission Speed Max Transmission Distance Application
CAT1 1 400KHz 1Mbps 100M Telephone cable
CAT2 2 4MHz 4Mbps 100M Token Ring
CAT3 3 16MHz 10Mbps 100M 10Base-T Ethernet
CAT4 4 20MHz 16Mbps 100M Token Ring, 10Base-T Ethernet
CAT5 4 100Mhz 100Mbps 100M 100Base-T Ethernet
CAT5E 4 100Mhz 1000Mbps 100M 1000Base-T Ethernet
CAT6 4 250Mhz 1000Mbps 100M 1GBase-T Ethernet
CAT6A 4 500Mhz 10Gbps 100M 10GBase-T Ethernet
CAT7 4 600Mhz 10Gbps 100M 10GBase-T Ethernet
CAT7A 4 1000Mhz 10Gbps 100M 10GBase-T Ethernet
CAT8 4 2000Mhz 40Gbps 30M 40GBase-T Ethernet

Due to the development and progress of the network communication market, some types of network twisted pair cables have been phased out. The approximate market share and price differences of various network cables in the current twisted pair market are shown in the following figure:

Market Share of Twisted Pair Cables
Prices of Category Twisted Pair Cables

There is also another way to divide the network twisted pair cable types, which can be divided into unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cables and shielded twisted pair (STP) cables, depending on whether the twisted pair is equipped with a shielding layer (metal braided or foil layer).

Unshielded or Shielded Twisted Pair Cable

 

Twisted Pair Cable

UTP Cable

Unshielded twisted pair, abbreviated as UTP cable, is one of the most common types of twisted pair. It consists of multiple twisted pairs of copper wires, but without an additional shielding layer.

Advantage: low cost, good flexibility, ease of installation

Application: used in Ethernet networks, telephone systems, general data transmission

STP Cable

Shielded twisted pair, also known as STP cable, adds a metal braided shielding layer or foil layer around the wire. This shielding layer can provide higher anti-interference performance and reduce the impact of electromagnetic interference on the signal.

Advantage: better anti-interference performance, higher signal integrity

Application: used in environments sensitive to electromagnetic interference, such as industrial control systems, medical equipment, and high-speed data transmission

Shielding Types

There are many different types of shielded twisted pair cables, and here are a few of the most common types.

Type Structure Description
Unshielded U/UTP Unshielded Cable / Unshielded Twisted Pair
Shielded F/UTP Foil Shielded Cable / Unshielded Twisted Pair
Shielded S/UTP Braid Shielded Cable / Unshielded Twisted Pair
Shielded SF/UTP Braid and Foil and Shielded Cable / Unshielded Twisted Pair
Shielded U/FTP Unshielded Cable / Foil Shielded Twisted Pair
Shielded F/FTP Foil Shielded Cable / Foil Shielded Twisted Pair
Shielded S/FTP Braid Shielded Cable / Foil Shielded Twisted Pair
Shielded SF/FTP Braid and Foil and Shielded Cable / Foil Shielded Twisted Pair

Features of Twisted Pair Network Cable

Anti-interference

The twisting design of twisted pair cables can better resist interference from devices such as power supplies, other cables during transmission.

High Speed Transmission

Twisted pair network cables have a high transmission rate, up to 40Gb/s, and support high-speed data transmission and network communication.

Flexibility and Ease of Use

 Twisted pair network cables are relatively soft, easy to bend and install. They can be installed with standardized connectors (such as RJ45), are compatible with various network devices and interfaces.

Cost Effectiveness

Compared to other high-speed transmission media, twisted pair network cables have a lower cost and are a cost-effective solution.

Reliability

The design and manufacturing experience of twisted pair network cables is very mature, they usually have good performance and reliability.

Wiring Standard

Ensure compatibility and consistency of twisted pair cables between different network devices.

T568A and T568B are two common twisted pair wiring standards used to connect network devices and terminal devices. They define how to connect the 8 wires of twisted pair to the 8 pins on the RJ45 socket, with the main difference being the order in which the wires are connected.

T568A and T568B only involve the physical connection sequence of twisted pair cables. Regardless of the wiring standard used, as long as the wiring at both ends remains consistent, communication can proceed normally.

T568A T568B Wiring Standard

Gcabling Twisted Pair Network Cable

Standard Twisted Pair Cable

Gcabling manufacture and supply a wide range of Ethernet cables. Here we list several standard twisted pair cables.

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