The table below shows the different types of copper Ethernet cable and gives a brief description of each type. Electromagnetic shielding/screening can be made from a metallic or polyester foil, or metallic braid, either around individual conductor pairs, all 4 pairs, or both. Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a are available in unshielded and shielded formats, Cat7 is only available as a shielded cable.
|UTP||Unshielded Twisted Pair||The UTP cable consists of pairs of wires twisted together. This is one of the most basic methods used to help prevent electromagnetic interference.|
|STP/FTP||Shielded Twisted or Foiled Twisted Pair||STP and FTP offer an additional layer of protection with shielding (also called screening) wrapped around the individual twisted wires. This protects against EMI/FRI and crosstalk.|
|S/UTP & F/UTP||Shielded/ Screened or Foiled Unshielded Twisted Pair||This has an overall foil or braid screen encasing the 4 pairs of unshielded twisted pairs.|
|SFTP||Shielded and Foiled |
|A combination of the two above, with foil shielding around the individual twisted wires and an overall screen which can sometimes be a flexible braid.This provides the maximum level of protection from interference and is found in the highest performance cables.|