Twisted pair cable

What is Twisted pair cable with examples?


Twisted pair cable: Simple definition

AM7S defines twisted cable

UTP Unshielded twisted cable

STP shielded twisted cable

Advantages of twisted pair cable

Disadvantages of twisted cable

Categories of twisted cable


Twisted pair cable


Twisted pair cable definition

A twisted cable is made by putting two separate wires together in a twisted pattern and running them parallel to each other. These wires are insulated. This cable is normally used in different types of data infrastructures and voice infrastructure.

AM7S defines twisted pair cable

Coaxial cable is a type of cable that consists of two insulated wires which are twisted around one another. This twisting of wires helps to reduce crosstalk. It also reduces electromagnetic induction. Twisted pair cable was used in olde telephone networks for operation. It is a less expensive type of local area network (LAN) cables.

Twisted pair cables are preferred over coaxial cable for different reasons. Coaxial cable includes single and thick wire. Many people who use coaxial cable say that twisted pair is more useful. It has a more accommodating bend radius which is easier to terminate. It provides more versatility in selecting network topologies.


There are two types of twisted cable:

  • UTP Unshielded Twisted cable (UTP vs STP)

This cable does not have a fine wire mesh to surrounds the wires to protect the transmission. It is a popular type of cable. It consists of two unshielded wires which are twisted around each other. UTP is less expensive, that is why it is extensively used in local area networks (LANs) and telephone connections.


Twisted pair cable




  • STP Shielded Twisted cable (UTP vs STP)

This cable has a fine wire mesh that surrounds the wires to protect the transmission. The shielding helps in protecting the signals on the cable from any of the external interference. It is more expensive as compare to UTP. It can support higher transmission rates over long distances. STP is also used in IBM token ring networks.


Twisted pair cable


Advantages of twisted pair cable(UTP vs STP)

  • Twisted cables are inexpensive.
  • They are readily available.
  • They are flexible.
  • These cables are lightweight.
  • These are easy to set up.
  • These cables are easy to install as well.

Disadvantages of twisted pair cable (UTP vs STP)

  • These are susceptible to interference.
  • These are susceptible to noise.
  • Electrical disturbance can degrade communication.
  • It has low bandwidth.
  • These cables are sensitive to interference.


Categories of Twisted pair cable

These are rated by categories. These categories are measured by ‘Twist Per Inch’. The table given below will outline the different categories of the twisted pair cable. It also shows the common uses of these categories. Category 5 is the most common twisted pair in use today. It has three per inch using a 24-gauge copper cable.

The following table describes the categories with uses. (UTP vs STP)

Category No. of pairs Max. data speed (MBps) Common usage
Category 1 2 1 Voice/modem
Category 2 2 4 IBM cabling and Token Ring
Category 3 4 16 High-speed Token Ring
Category 4 4 20 High-speed Token Ring
Category 5 4 100 100BaseTX Ethernet
Category 5e 4 1000 1000BaseT short run
Category 6 4 1000 1000BaseT short run


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