What does UTP, S/UTP, FTP, STP and SFTP mean?

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. Cat5eCat6 and Cat6a are available in unshielded and shielded formats, Cat7 is only available as a shielded cable.

UTP  Unshielded Twisted PairThe 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 PairSTP 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/UTPShielded/ Screened or Foiled Unshielded Twisted PairThis has an overall foil or braid screen encasing the 4 pairs of unshielded twisted pairs. 
 SFTPShielded and Foiled 
Twisted Pair
 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. 


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