Twisted pair, coaxial cable and optical fiber are the three common network cables in our daily life. Generally speaking, twisted pair is the most commonly used which is composed of many pairs of data transmission line. It's characterized by low price.
Twisted pair is divided into unshielded twisted pair (UTP) and shielded twisted pair (STP). The STP is surrounded by a layer of metallic material to reduce radiation, prevent eavesdropping of messages. At the same time, it has a high data transfer rate. However, it has a higher price due to higher costs and its installation is more complex. UTP is a non-metallic shielding material, which is only a layer of insulating rubber wrapped. Its price is relatively much cheaper, and you can make them on your own.
Non-shielded enclosure, light weight, flexible and flame retardant effect are the advantages of UTP. UTP is generally used under normal circumstances, except for using STP for wiring in areas with high levels of electromagnetic radiation and high transmission quality.
Speed level of twisted pair
The most commonly used CAT5 is the preferred transmission medium for Fast Ethernet (100Mbps) due to its low cost and high quality. And it is also the most widely used currently. CAT5E is available in Gigabit Ethernet (1000Mbps). But CAT6 and CAT7 networks cable have higher transmission bandwidth. They will gradually replace CAT5E network cable.