Twisted pair cable. Most people don’t know what it is. As the name implies, twisted pair cable literally means to wind two or more separate insulated wires together and make them parallel to each other. Twisted pair wire has the property of eliminating interference. Therefore, cables are suitable for short distance data and voice infrastructure because they reduce the impact of electromagnetic interference on electronic signals. It is also more flexible and easier to install than coaxial cable. Use two types of twisted pair cable: shielded and unshielded. Shielded twisted pair wire (STP) has a thin wire mesh around the wire to protect transmission. Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) does not.
The latter is the more common of the two types, used in Ethernet installations, and is often used in residential and enterprise applications. Shielded cables are used in telephone networks as well as network and data communications to reduce external interference and crosstalk, and are designed to aid grounding. Of the two types of cables, UTP cables are cheaper than STP cables and require less maintenance because they do not rely on external shielding. Although UTP can transmit data as fast as STP cables, they are much more noisy than STP cables. Twisted-pair cables are the most cost-effective choice for coaxial cable and fiber, but they also have lower bandwidth and higher attenuation, i.e., lower performance over longer distances. They also wear out easily and must be maintained regularly. It is best to use twisted pair cables anywhere where there is no strong electromagnetic interference.
Advantages: high cost performance, reliable and easy to install over short distances for best performance
Disadvantages: higher attenuation vulnerable to electromagnetic interference (EMI) low durability (must be maintained regularly)