What does UTP, S/UTP, FTP, STP and SFTP mean?

The shielding inside your cable acts as a barrier to protect the cable from electromagnetic interference (EMI), radio frequency interference (RFI) and crosstalk between pairs and adjacent cables. It also prevents the signal from the cable interfering with surrounding equipment. When it comes to copper cabling, choosing the level of shielding you want the cable to have can be hard to understand. Here is a guide to help you understand the meaning of some of the most common terms.

U/UTP: UNSHIELDED TWISTED PAIRS

Widely implemented UTP wiring consists of two insulated copper wires which have been twisted around one another. The abbreviation UTP stands for “Unshielded Twisted Pair”. The twisting of the wire pairs helps to control signal degradation due to interference.

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F/UTP: FOILED WITH UNSHIELDED TWISTED PAIRS.

Often referred to as FTP, this type of cable features an overall foil shield wrapped around unshielded twisted pairs and a drain wire. When the drain wire is correctly connected, unwanted noise is redirected to ground, offering extra protection against EMI/RFI.

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S/UTP: SHIELDED WITH UNSHIELDED TWISTED PAIRS.

Shielded twisted pair cable (STP) has the individual pairs of wires wrapped in foil, which are then wrapped again for double protection. Unshielded twisted pair cable (UTP) has each pair of wires twisted together. Those wires are then wrapped in tubing without any other protection. UTP cables are less expensive, and a more popular type of cabling.

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SF/UTP: SHIELDED AND FOILED WITH UNSHIELDED TWISTED PAIRS.

This cable has both an overall braid shield and foil shield with unshielded twisted pairs. This cable offers effective protection from EMI both from the cable and into the cable as well as much better grounding due to the additional braid.

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U/FTP: UNSHIELDED WITH FOILED TWISTED PAIRS

U/FTP stands for unshielded foiled twisted pair. Inside the CAT6A UTP cable, each pair of cables is twisted and wrapped with metal foil. It’s like 4 couples vacationing together and each couple has their own room.

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F/FTP: FOILED WITH FOILED TWISTED PAIRS

This type of cable features an overall foil shield with individually foil tape shielded twisted pairs. These are similar to F/UTP cables, with the addition of a foil shield around each twisted pair. The cable construction is designed to provide the assembly with greater protection from crosstalk from adjacent pairs and other cables, RFI and EMI.

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S/FTP: SHIELDED WITH FOILED TWISTED PAIRS

Similar to F/FTP, the individual twisted pairs are wrapped in a foil tape before being wrapped in an overall flexible yet mechanically strong braid screen. The additional foil on the twisted pairs helps to reduce crosstalk from adjacent pairs and other cables. The braid provides better grounding.

SFFTP

SF/FTP: SHIELDED AND FOILED WITH FOILED TWISTED PAIRS

Offering the maximum protection from RFI/EMI, crosstalk and alien crosstalk, this cable has both an overall braid shield and foil shield, with individually foil tape screened twisted pairs. This type of cable provides the best level of protection from interference and better grounding due to the braid.

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