Twisted Pair Cable: Diagram, Types, Examples, Application, & Uses

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What is Twisted Pair Cable?

Definition: Twisted pair cable is special type cabling that is using in telephone communication and Ethernet network. This cable constructs with two separate insulated copper wires, which are twisted together with each other as well as run in parallel form. The copper wires get persisting with 1mm in diameter. One of them wires helps to transmit data and another get using in ground reference.Twisted-Pair-Cable

This twisted pair offers protection from crosstalk, signal interference, and noise. When electrical current is getting to flow via wire, then it arises a small, circular magnetic field rounding the wire.

Twisted Pair Cable Tutorial Headlines:

In this section, we will show you all headlines about this entire article; you can check them as your choice; below shown all:

  1. What is Twisted Pair Cable?
  2. Brief History of Twisted Pair Cable
  3. Twisted Pair Cable in Computer Network
  • Categories of Twisted–Pair Cables
  1. Types of Twisted-Pair Cables with Examples
  • Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)
  • Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)
  1. Differences between STP and UTP Cables
  2. Application & Uses of Twisted Pair Cable
  3. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  • What are different types of twisted pair cable?
  • What are the popular types of twisted-pair cable available?
  • What is the difference between two types of twisted pair cables?
  • What are the examples of twisted-pair cable?
  • What is the application of twisted pair cable?
  • Where is twisted pair cable used?

Let’s Get Started!!

Brief History of Twisted Pair Cable

Here is a brief history of twisted pair cable, including:

Early Use (19th Century)

  • Twisted pair cable has its roots in telecommunication systems of the 19th century.
  • Initially used for transmitting telegraph signals.

Telephone System Adoption (Late 19th Century – Early 20th Century)

  • Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone in 1876 led to the widespread use of twisted pair cables for telephone lines.
  • Twisted pairs helped reduce electromagnetic interference and signal crosstalk.

Development of Category Systems (1980s – 1990s)

  • With the rise of computer networking, twisted pair cables became fundamental for data transmission.
  • The development of Category 3 (Cat3) cables marked the entry into data communication.

Category 5 (Cat5) and Enhanced Performance (1990s)

  • Cat5 cables, introduced in the 1990s, improved data transmission rates and became the standard for early Ethernet networks.
  • Enhanced Cat5e cables addressed crosstalk issues, supporting higher data rates and becoming the foundation for many networks.

Higher Data Rates (2000s – 2010s)

  • As network demands increased, Cat6, Cat6a, and Cat7 cables developed to support higher data rates, reaching up to 10 Gbps and beyond.
  • Advances in cable design and shielding improved performance and reduced interference.

Introduction of Shielded and Unshielded Variants

  • Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) and Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) variants introduced to address different electromagnetic interference requirements.
  • STP provided additional shielding for applications where interference was a significant concern.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) Integration (2000s)

  • Twisted pair cables began for using for Power over Ethernet (PoE) applications, allowing both data and power that will transmit over the same cable.
  • PoE became essential for devices like IP cameras, VoIP phones, and wireless access points.

Advancements in Data Center Cabling (2010s)

  • Category 8 (Cat8) cables introduced to meet the increasing demands of data centers, supporting data rates up to 25 or 40 Gbps.
  • Ongoing developments focus on improving bandwidth, reducing crosstalk, and enhancing overall cable performance.

Continued Relevance in Broad Applications (Present)

  • Twisted pair cables remain mostly utilised into many applications like as telecommunications, computer networks, security systems, audio/video transmission, and etc.
  • On-going research and development goal to push the limits of data transmission speeds over twisted pair cables.

Twisted Pair Cable in Computer Network, Why to Use?

When wires are getting to twisted, then few parts of noise signals is in the direction of data signals but other parts are flowing in the against direction. Due to different twists, it gets to cancel external waves. The receiver is capable to manipulate the difference in the voltages of two wires for getting to fetch data. So, it gets better immunity opposite obtained noise.

For making connection in between two computer system for getting to connect this cable, we have to need some connectors on the both edges of the cable. Mostly, RJ45 connector is using for making computer communication. RJ is full form is “Registered Jack“, and it is a male-female type keyed connector.

Categories of Twisted–Pair Cables:

Twisted pair cables are classified by EIA into seven categories −

  • Category 1 − UTP used in telephone lines with data rate < 0.1 Mbps
  • Category 2 − UTP used in transmission lines with a data rate of 2 Mbps
  • Category 3 − UTP used in LANs with a data rate of 10 Mbps
  • Category 4 − UTP used in Token Ring networks with a data rate of 20 Mbps
  • Category 5 − UTP used in LANs with a data rate of 100 Mbps
  • Category 6 − UTP used in LANs with a data rate of 200 Mbps
  • Category 7 − STP used in LANs with a data rate of 10 Mbps

 Types of Twisted-Pair Cables

There are two examples of twisted pair cable; such as –


Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)

Shielded twisted pair introduced by IBM and it is used firstly in IBM organization only. This cable consist a metal foil otherwise braided mesh undercover that mainly encase every pair of insulated conductors. So,  metal casing helps to improve the quality of wire by securing the penetration of noise otherwise crosstalk. It has higher price as well as bulkier.

It is also called the metal shield that normally link to ground so as to decrease the interference of noise. STP allows to  both transmissions analog and digital. STP’s bandwidth is supportable for cable that depends on thickness of wire and its distance.

Other considerations of about STP Cables:

  • STP cable can support various megabits/sec for some kilometer and less expensive.
  • It provides speed or throughput of approximate 10 to 100 Mbps.
  • It can support maximum cable length about 100 meters.
  • It gets low attenuation than UTP cable.
  • STP is more expensive compare to UTP.
  • STP contains must be grounding cable.

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)

UTP cable has four pair of color coded copper wires together, and they get cover with flexible plastic sheath. Due to twist of copper wire, it gets cancel electromagnetic interference from the external sources.

Unshielded twisted pair cable does not contain any other extra shielding such as meshes or aluminum foil that allows to append in bulk. UTP cables do not implement any shielding to counter EMI and RFI effects.

UTP cables are mostly using in the computer network as well as in the telecommunication sector as telephone wires and Ethernet cables. It is small size, so easy to installation.

Other considerations of about UTP Cables:

  • It provides the speed or throughput of almost 10 to 1000Mbps.
  • It contains the maximum cable length of about 100 meter.
  • UTP gets high attenuation than STP.
  • It generates higher crosstalk to STP.
  • It does not need grounding cable.

Differences between STP and UTP Cables

Here are five key differences between Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) and Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cables:


Unshielded Twisted Pair

Shielded Twisted Pair


Consists of twisted pairs of copper wires without shielding

Consists of twisted pairs of copper wires with additional shielding to reduce electromagnetic interference


Relatively inexpensive

More expensive due to additional shielding and manufacturing costs


Easy to install and terminate

More complex installation due to the additional shielding

Vulnerability to interference

Vulnerable to interference from nearby sources of electromagnetic radiation, such as power lines and electrical equipment

Provides enhanced protection against electromagnetic interference and crosstalk due to the shielding


Requires less maintenance

Requires more maintenance due to the shielding and is costlier than UTP cables

Applications of Twisted Pair Cable

Twisted Pair Cables are mostly utilising into several domains due to their cost-effectiveness, reliability, and flexibility. Here are some common applications of twisted pair cables, including:

Use Cases of Twisted Pair Cable Are:


Telephone Lines: Twisted pair cables are traditionally cables that were using for telephone lines. They are suitable for carrying voice signals over short to medium distances.

Data Transmission: Twisted pair cables, especially in the form of Category 5e (Cat5e) or Category 6 (Cat6) cables, are commonly using for data transmission in computer networks. They support applications like Ethernet, which is widely implementing for local area networks (LANs).

Computer Networks

Ethernet Networks: Twisted pair cables are the primary medium for Ethernet networks. They are also going to use for making connection with computers, routers, switches, and other networking devices in your home and business areas.

Internet Connectivity: Many broadband internet connections use twisted pair cables to connect the modem to the service provider’s network.

Audio and Video Transmission

Audio Cables: Twisted pair cables are also using for transmitting analog and digital audio signals. They are commonly available in audio systems like as speakers, headphones, and microphones.

Video Cables: Some twisted pair cables are designing for video transmission. Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cables, for example, transmitting video signals in CCTV systems.

Security Systems

CCTV Installations: Twisted pair cables, often in the form of UTP, are using for connecting security cameras to recording devices in closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems.

Industrial Applications

Control Systems: Twisted pair cables are also using in industrial settings for connecting sensors, actuators, and other control devices to programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and other control systems.

Smart Building Infrastructure

Building Automation: Twisted pair cables play a crucial role in building automation systems, connecting devices such as thermostats, lighting controls, and security systems.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) Applications

Twisted pair cables can carry both data and electrical power in Power over Ethernet applications. This is most helpful for devices, including IP cameras, VoIP phones, and wireless access points.

Telephone Systems

Twisted pair cables are still widely implementing in modern telephone systems for making connection along with handsets, intercoms, and other communication devices.

Residential Wiring

Twisted pair cables are also commonly using in residential settings for various applications, including telephone lines, internet connections, and home automation systems.

Medical Equipment

Some medical devices use twisted pair cables for data transmission and control purposes.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are different types of twisted pair cable?

Twisted pair cable has two different variants like as shielded twisted pair (STP) and unshielded twisted pair (UTP), and they contain each pair of wire along with an aluminium foil shield for furthermost isolation.

What are the popular types of twisted-pair cable available?

Today, twisted pair cable is getting more popularity like as CAT-5e 100 MHz unshielded twisted pair cabling, CAT-6 250 MHz UTP cable, CAT-6a 500 MHz UTP, CAT-7 600MHz shielded pair cabling, so no.

What is the difference between two types of twisted pair cables?

Main difference in between is that STP (Shielded twisted pair) is an twisted pair cable that confined in foil or mesh shield that protect the cable against electromagnetic interference. On  contrary UTP (Unshielded twisted pair) is a cable along with wire that are getting to twist each other to decrease the noise and crosstalk.

What are the examples of twisted-pair cable?

There are many examples whereas twisted pair cable is used for example: Digital Subscriber Line, telephone lines, local area networks, and more.

What is the application of twisted pair cable?

There are many application areas whereas it is used like as Ethernet network, Security camera system, DSL lines and more.

Where is twisted pair cable used?

Mostly, twisted pair cable is used in different areas like as Ethernet network, telephone lines, DSL lines, Security camera system, LANs, and more.

Summing Up

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Read More – Advantages and Disadvantages of Twisted Pair Cable

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