Twisted pair cables are broadly used in convey information, especially across distances. The twist in the wire cancels out any magnetic interference that may develop in the wiring.
The common types of twisted pair cables are STP and UTP. The S stands for Shielded, the U stands for Unshielded and the TP stands for twisted pair for both. STP has additional shielding material that is used to cancel any external nosiness that may be faced at any point in the path of the cable.
UTP cables have no protection against such nosiness and its performance is often corrupted in its presence. Using STP cables ensures you to get the maximum bandwidth from your cabling even if the external condition is less than ideal.
The biggest disadvantage to using STP cables is the higher cost. The shielding is an additional material that goes into every meter of the cable in that way raising its total cost. The shielding also makes the cable heavier and a bit more difficult to bend or maneuver in any way.
This is not a big issue but something that users should know when choosing between STP and UTP.
In terms of usage UTP is the more common and popular cabling that is used in most homes, offices, and even in large scale businesses due to its lower cost. STP is commonly used by large scale companies in high end applications that require the maximum bandwidth.
STP cables are also used in outdoor setting where the cables are uncovered to the elements and synthetic structures and apparatus that may introduce additional interference. Good examples of this would be the telephone, internet cables that run from your home to the junction box.
Most common uses it does not really matter whether you use STP or UTP as both would probably perform well. UTP is the more logical choice as it is cheaper and much easier to find in the majority of computer equipment retailers.
1. STP cables are shielded while UTP cables are unshielded
2. STP cables are more immune to interference and noise than UTP cables
3. STP cables are better at maximizing bandwidth compared to UTP cables
4. STP cables cost more per meter compared to UTP cables
5. STP cables are heavier per meter compared to UTP cables
6. UTP cables are more prevalent in SOHO networks while STP is used in more high-end applications