Shielded vs. Unshielded Cat6A— How to Decide?

Shielded vs. Unshielded Cat6A— How to Decide?

  • 07 March, 2022
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There are several reasons to switch Cat6A Twisted-pair Copper Cable but most significant dynamics are Power over Ethernet (PoE) adoptions, 10GbE networks support and wireless access points applications. Today, the growing demand for high bandwidth and better performance has made Cat6A Ethernet 1000ft UTP 750MHz 23 AWG Network Cable a popular choice of users. However, these cables are available in two flavors: Shielded Cat6A vs. Unshielded Cat6a. It would be a little hard to decide which one to choose among these two available Cat6 Network Cable Types? What are the applications and differences between Cat6a shielded and unshielded cables? Let’s explore the dissimilarities between the two cabling options to simplify the decision-making process. 



The Real Difference between Cat6A Shielded vs. Unshielded

Generally, Cat6A Ethernet 1000ft UTP 750MHz 23AWG Plenum Pure Copper Network Cable is available in two choices on the basis of shielding types with the first one is known as shielded twisted pair cable (STP) while the second one is named as unshielded twisted pair cable (UTP). Both UTP and STP Cat6a Cables are made to ensure smooth and reliable connectivity of electronic equipment. Although the purpose is the same but they have different design, manufacturer and performance.


Cat6A Unshielded Cable


Cat6A unshielded twisted pair (UTP) Cables contain 4 twisted pairs while each bare copper conductor is not only insulated but also color-coded. Meanwhile, every bundle of Cat6A Ethernet 1000ft UTP 750MHz 23 AWG Plenum Pure Copper Network Cable has an overall jacket (e.g. PVC) above, under which it is bundled. On the other hand, each cable pair has a distinct twist rate to reduce the crosstalk into the cable. The most interesting aspect of Cat6A Ethernet 1000ft UTP 750MHz Plenum Pure Copper Network Cable is that it is really simple to terminate because there is no involvement of shield and the drain wire which decreases the cost as well as termination time.


Cat6A Shielded Cable

This flavor of Cat6A, shielded twisted pair cable (STP), consists of a shield in cables that avert electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI). EMI and RFI can affect the cable performance but presence of shield prevents it. Additionally, cable signals do not interfere in nearby cables and equipment due to shield. In short, properly installed Cat6A Ethernet 1000ft UTP 750MHz 23 AWG Plenum Pure Copper Network Cable automatically prevent EMI and crosstalk, support data integrity and ensure high-speed performance.



Note:  There will be no mix-and match in case you have decided to use shielded cable in the installation. Everything linked with a shielded cable should be shielded and grounded such as couplers, jacks and network controllers etc. Moreover, shielded and unshielded cables cannot be connected. Various abbreviations are used to describe Cat6A Ethernet 1000ft UTP 750MHz 23 AWG Plenum Pure Copper Network Cable shielding such as ‘U’ means Unshielded, ‘F’ means Foil Shield, ‘S’ stands for Braided Shield while ‘TP’ is used for Twisted Pair.

The first letter gives information about the overall shield whereas the later one explains the shielding type on each pair as per ISO/IEC standards. For instance, in F/UTP, the initial letter ‘F’ defines the shielding type, ‘U’ specifies shielding pairs, and ‘TP’ stands for twisted pairs.  Here are more acronyms and descriptions about Cat6a shielding.


Acronym

UTP or U/UTP

F/UTP

U/FTP

Description

Unshielded Twisted Pair

Foil Shield (Overall)

Each Pair Shielded

Cable Shielding

None

AL Foil

None

Pair Shielding

None

None

AL Foil

Cat6a Shielded vs. Unshielded Cable— How to Make Proper Decision?

You must evaluate the environment and cost while selecting Ethernet cables for your home or business. Likewise, you should go for appropriate shielded or unshielded cables options that meet your network requirements.


Generally, Unshielded Cat6A Ethernet 1000ft UTP 750MHz 23 AWG Plenum Pure Copper Cable are favored for homes and small businesses. However, they may not work well if your home or office is situated in close proximity with power lines or is filled with appliances. Usually, Shielded Ethernet Cables are not required in homes and small business environments due to less interference there. However, in complicated environments of larger businesses where there is heavy machinery, elevators and fluorescent lights which may produce extreme EMI, it is recommended to install shielded Cat6a cables. These cables will not reduce speed and quality of data transmission. Furthermore, the presence of generators, air conditioners and printers also leads to EMI. Thus, shielded twisted pair cables can prove to be excellent choices for complex industrial environments and healthcare units.

You must not ignore the expenses while considering shielded vs. unshielded Cat6A Ethernet 1000ft UTP Plenum Pure Copper NetworkCable. Cat6a Unshielded Cables are cheaper to purchase than its shielded alternative but they are easy to install. Cat6A Shielded Cable is stiffer, less flexible and difficult to install. However, Unshielded Cables are more flexible and they don’t need grounding. Cost doesn’t only include the cable price but also the value of network speed and security.


So should I prefer the STP Cat6A Ethernet 1000ft 750MHz 23 AWG Plenum Pure Copper Network Cable? In case of common scenarios such as outdoor installation, close to generator and electrical motors, near the high voltage wiring and inside walls alongside air conditioning wiring, Shielded Network Cable is recommended. If there are critical connections including switch to switch or switch to server, it is advisable to install STP Cat6A Ethernet 1000ft 750MHz 23 AWG Plenum Pure Copper Network Cable.


In a nutshell, you should keep your cabling environment, network requirements and budget in mind while deciding for Cat6A shielded vs. unshielded Cable. Installing high-quality Cat6A Ethernet 1000ft UTP 750MHz 23 AWG Plenum Pure Copper Network Cable not only keeps you away from short-term replacements but also prolong the lifetime of your cabling network.


Conclusion About Cat6A shielded vs. unshielded Cable



In a nutshell, you should keep your cabling environment, network requirements and budget in mind while deciding for Cat6A shielded vs. unshielded Cable. Installing high-quality Cat6A Ethernet 1000ft UTP 750MHz 23 AWG Plenum PureCopper Network Cable not only keeps you away from short-term replacements but also prolong the lifetime of your cabling network.

Tags Shielded Cat6A Cables, Cat6A Cables, Plenum Cat6A Cables, Pure Copper Cables, Ethernet Cables, Cat6A Network Cables


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