Aspects to Keep in Mind Before Buying Shielded and Unshielded Ethernet Cables

Digital Signal Processing is the process of transmission and production of data that takes place without any interference. This process asks for an Ethernet Cable. Most of the wired networks of today including routers, PCs and switches use Ethernet cables for the smooth transmission of data. These Ethernet Cables are of two types – Shielded and Unshielded. They are also known as STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) and UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair). The question that arises next is – which one out of the two you should buy? To find this out, make sure you know about the environment you need Ethernet cables for.

One of the major reasons behind networks slowing down is – voltage interference. Hence, you must make sure that the electrical line intersects with low voltage communication cable at 90 degrees.

Given below are some other factors you should consider before buying shielded or unshielded Ethernet cables.

Alien CrossTalk

The antenna of Ethernet cables are like the cross-section. During the times of high frequency signal transmission, Alien CrossTalk (AXT) creates major hindrances. To avoid this, you need to know what is causing interference – the near end crosstalk or the foreign interference. Once you find that out, you can decide which cable to use for installation. In order to curb the effects of ATX, one should choose a shielded cable. Even if the shields are electrically bonded, robust grounding is must. Natural grounding can be enabled by appropriate couplers and jacks.

Choosing cables for places with heavy machinery

When it comes to choosing the Ethernet cable for healthcare facilities or places where heavy machinery is used, Cat 6a STP should be preferred over Cat 6a UTP.  Cat 6a STP comes with a shield that keeps the radio frequency interference away from the twisted pair.

Installation time for UTP and STP

There is no need to discriminate between the two shielded cables on the basis of installation time required. STP’s latest version comes with easy to set up die cast jacks and thus it doesn’t ask for prolonged steps of installation. However, you must keep in mind that you will take some time to detach the general shield from the cable. If you choose UTP, you will take time to test the AXT process. Installing STP, on the other hand, won’t take long.

Cost Consideration

A shielded Ethernet cable would definitely cost you more than UTP. But considering factors like less testing time and superior quality performance, it may be totally worth buying it. After all, time is money.

Keep the future upgrades in mind

The field of communication technology is always evolving. Hence, you must make sure that you don’t need to upgrade the cables time and again. Make sure you utilize transmission cables that surpass the current transmission rate of 10 GB/s. Keeping these factors in mind, STP is always a better choice.

Bonding process for STP

It is believed that installing shielded cables asks for a more robust grounding and bonding process. This might be a myth. STP, just like other cables requires the same kind of grounding provided its shield is attached to the patch panel. The quality of signal that is received at the end of transmission is dependent on the quality of data that is fed to it.

So now you know the difference between Shielded and Unshielded cables. While buying Ethernet Cables, keep the above points in mind and you will never have network hindrances. You can also ask the installation experts to guide you in case of any confusion.

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