Network media is the actual path over which an electrical signal travels as it moves from one component to another. This blog will guide you all about twisted pair cable in CCNA networking.


Twisted-Pair Cable

Twisted-pair cable is a type of cabling that is used for telephone communications and most modern Ethernet networks. A pair of wires forms a circuit that can transmit data. The pairs are twisted to provide protection against crosstalk, the noise generated by adjacent pairs. When electrical current flows through a wire, it creates a small, circular magnetic field around the wire. When two wires in an electrical circuit are placed close together, their magnetic fields are the exact opposite of each other. Thus, the two magnetic fields cancel each other out. They also cancel out any outside magnetic fields Twisting the wires can enhance this cancellation effect. Using cancellation together with twisting the wires, cable designers can effectively provide self-shielding for wire pairs within the network media.

Two basic types of twisted-pair cable exist:

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and

Shielded Twisted Pair (STP).


UTP Cable

UTP cable is a medium that is composed of pairs of wires. UTP cable is used in a variety of networks. Each of the eight individual copper wires in UTP cable is covered by an insulating material. In addition, the wires in each pair are twisted around each other.

UTP cable relies solely on the cancellation effect produced by the twisted wire pairs to limit signal degradation caused by electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). To further reduce crosstalk between the pairs in UTP cable, the number of twists in the wire pairs varies. UTP cable must follow precise specifications governing how many twists or braids are permitted per meter (3.28 feet) of cable.

UTP cable often is installed using a Registered Jack 45 (RJ-45) connector. The RJ-45 is an eight-wire connector used commonly to connect computers onto a local-area network (LAN), especially Ethernets.

When used as a networking medium, UTP cable has four pairs of either 22- or 24-gauge copper wire. UTP used as a networking medium has an impedance of 100 ohms; this differentiates it from other types of twisted-pair wiring such as that used for telephone wiring, which has impedance of 600 ohms.


Advantages of UTP Cables: Because UTP has an external diameter of approximately 0.43 cm (0.17 inches), its small size can be advantageous during installation. Because it has such a small external diameter, UTP does not fill up wiring ducts as rapidly as other types of cable. This can be an extremely important factor to consider, particularly when installing a network in an older building. UTP cable is easy to install and is less expensive than other types of networking media. In fact, UTP costs less per meter than any other type of LAN cabling. And because UTP can be used with most of the major networking architectures, it continues to grow in popularity.


Disadvantages of UTP Cables: Disadvantages also are involved in using twisted-pair cabling, however. UTP cable is more prone to electrical noise and interference than other types of networking media, and the distance between signal boosts is shorter for UTP than it is for coaxial cables and fiber-optic cables.

Although UTP was once considered to be slower at transmitting data than other types of cable, this is no longer true. In fact, UTP is considered the fastest copper-based medium today.


Features of UTP cable:

Speed and throughput – 10 to 1000 Mbp

Average cost per node – Least expensive

Media and connector size – Small

Maximum cable length – 100 m (short)


Commonly used types of UTP cabling:

Category 1: Used for telephone communications. Not suitable for transmitting data.

Category 2: Capable of transmitting data at speeds up to 4 megabits per second (Mbps).

Category 3: Used in 10BASE-T networks. Can transmit data at speeds up to 10 Mbps.

Category 4: Used in Token Ring networks. Can transmit data at speeds up to 16 Mbps.

Category 5: Can transmit data at speeds up to 100 Mbps.

Category 5e: Used in networks running at speeds up to 1000 Mbps (1 gigabit per second [Gbps]).

Category 6: Typically, Category 6 cable consists of four pairs of 24 American Wire Gauge (AWG) copper wires. Category 6 cable is currently the fastest standard for UTP.


Shielded Twisted-Pair Cable

Shielded twisted-pair (STP) cable combines the techniques of shielding, cancellation, and wire twisting. Each pair of wires is wrapped in a metallic foil. The four pairs of wires then are wrapped in an overall metallic braid or foil, usually 150-ohm cable. As specified for use in Ethernet network installations, STP reduces electrical noise both within the cable (pair-to-pair coupling, or crosstalk) and from outside the cable (EMI and RFI). STP usually is installed with STP data connector, which is created especially for the STP cable. However, STP cabling also can use the same RJ connectors that UTP uses.

Although STP prevents interference better than UTP, it is more expensive and difficult to install. In addition, the metallic shielding must be grounded at both ends. If it is improperly grounded, the shield acts like an antenna and picks up unwanted signals. Because of its cost and difficulty with termination, STP is rarely used in Ethernet networks. STP is primarily used in Europe.


Features of STP cable:

Speed and throughput: 10 to 100 Mbps

Average cost per node: Moderately expensive

Media and connector size: Medium to large

Maximum cable length: 100 m (short)


Comparison between UTP and STP:

  • The speed of both types of cable is usually satisfactory for local-area distances.
  • These are the least-expensive media for data communication. UTP is less expensive than STP.
  • Because most buildings are already wired with UTP, many transmission standards are adapted to use it, to avoid costly rewiring with an alternative cable type.

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Coaxial cable is a type of copper cable specially built with a metal shield and other components engineered to block signal interference. It is primarily used by cable TV companies to connect their satellite antenna facilities to customer homes and businesses. It is also sometimes used by telephone companies to connect central offices to telephone poles near customers. Some homes and offices use coaxial cable, too, but its widespread use as an Ethernet connectivity medium in enterprises and data centers has been supplanted by the deployment of twisted pair cabling.

Coaxial cable received its name because it includes one physical channel that carries the signal surrounded – after a layer of insulation – by another concentric physical channel, both running along the same axis. The outer channel serves as a ground. Many of these cables or pairs of coaxial tubes can be placed in a single outer sheathing and, with repeaters, can carry information for a great distance.

Coaxial cable was invented in 1880 by English engineer and mathematician Oliver Heaviside, who patented the invention and design that same year. AT&T established its first cross-continental coaxial transmission system in 1940. Depending on the carrier technology used and other factors, twisted pair copper wire and optical fiber are alternatives to coaxial cable.

Blog: Which cable is best for a new generation internet connection? Cat5 Vs. Cat6 Vs. Cat7 Cables

How coaxial cables work?

Coaxial cables have concentric layers of electrical conductors and insulating material. This construction ensures signals are enclosed within the cable and prevents electrical noise from interfering with the signal.

The center conductor layer is a thin conducting wire, either solid or braided copper. A dielectric layer, made up of an insulating material with very well-defined electrical characteristics, surrounds the wire. A shield layer then surrounds the dielectric layer with metal foil or braided copper mesh. The whole assembly is wrapped in an insulating jacket. The outer metal shield layer of the coaxial cable is typically grounded in the connectors at both ends to shield the signals and as a place for stray interference signals to dissipate.

A key to coaxial cable design is a tight control of cable dimensions and materials. Together, they ensure the characteristic impedance of the cable takes on a fixed value. High-frequency signals are partially reflected at impedance mismatches, causing errors.

Characteristic impedance is sensitive to signal frequency. Above 1 Ghz, the cable maker must use a dielectric that does not attenuate the signal too much or change the characteristic impedance in a way that creates signal reflections.

Electrical characteristics of coax are application-dependent and crucial for good performance. Two standard characteristic impedances are 50 ohms, used in moderate power environments, and 75 ohms, common for connections to antennas and residential installations.

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Types of coaxial cables

There are numerous types of coaxial cables, some types include:

Hard-line coaxial cable- Which relies on round copper tubing and a combination of metals as a shield, such as aluminum or copper. These cables are commonly used to connect a transmitter to an antenna.

Triaxial cable- Which has a third layer of shielding that is grounded to protect signals transmitted down the cable.

Rigid-line coaxial cables– Which are made up of twin copper tubes that function as unbendable pipes. These lines are designed for indoor use between high-power radio frequency (RF) transmitters.

Radiating cable- Which mimics many components of the hard-line cable, but with tuned slots in the shielding matched to the RF wavelength at which the cable will operate. It is commonly used in elevators, military equipment and underground tunnels.


Types of connectors

There are many different types of coaxial cable connectors separated by two styles—male and female connectors. Connector types include:

BNC- Standing for Bayonet Neil-Concelman, this connector is used with television, video signal and radio below a frequency of 4GHz

TNC- Standing for Threaded Neil-Concelman, this connector is a threaded version of the BNC connector and is used in cell phones. TNC connectors operate up to 12 GHz.

SMA- Standing for SubMiniature version A, this connector is used with cellphones, Wi-Fi antenna systems, microwave systems and radios. SMA connectors operate up to 18GHz.

SMB- Standing for Subminiature version B, this connector may be used with telecommunications hardware.

QMA- QMA connectors are a quick-locking variant of SMA connectors used with industrial and communications hardware.

RCA- Standing for Radio Corporation of America, these are connectors used in audio and video. These are the grouped yellow, white and red cables used with older televisions. RCA connectors are also called A/V jacks.

F connectors- Also called F-types, these are used in digital and cable televisions. These commonly use RG6 or RG 59 cables.


Uses of coaxial cables

In the home and small offices, short coaxial cables are used for cable television, home video equipment, amateur radio equipment and measuring devices. Historically, coaxial cables were also used as an early form of Ethernet, supporting speeds of up to 10 Mbps, but coax has supplanted using twisted pair cabling. However, they remain widely in use for cable broadband internet. Coaxial cables are also used in automobiles, aircraft, military, and medical equipment, as well as to connect satellite dishes, radio and television antennae to their respective receivers.



Most coaxial specifications have an impedance of 50, 52, 75 or 93 ohms. Because of widespread use in the cable television industry, RG-6 cables with double or quad shields and impedance of 75 ohms have become a de facto standard for many industries. Nearly 50 distinct standards exist for coaxial cable, often designed for specific use cases in amateur radio or low-loss cable television. Other examples include RG-59/U used for carrying broadband signal from closed-circuit TV systems or RG-214/U used for high-frequency signal transmission.

Connectors for coax range from simple single connectors used on cable TV systems to complicated combinations of multiple thin coax links, mixed with power and other signal connections, housed in semi-custom bodies. These are commonly found in military electronics and avionics.

Mechanical stiffness can vary tremendously, depending on the internal construction and intended use of the coaxial cabling. For example, high-power cables are often made with thick insulation and are very stiff.

Some cables are deliberately made with thick center wires, resulting in skin-effect resistance. It results from high-frequency signals traveling on the surface of the conductor, not throughout. If the center conductor is larger, it results in a stiff cable with low loss per meter.


Interference issues

Coaxial cables can experience a variety of different forms of interference. Signal leakage occurs when the electromagnetic field passes through the shielding on the outside of the cable. In other cases, an outside signal can leak through the insulation. Straight-line feeds to commercial radio broadcast towers have the least leakage and interference because these cables have smooth, conductive shields with few gaps in them. Interference is most significant in nuclear reactors, where special shielding is needed.


Difference between RG59 and RG6

RG59 and RG6 cables are commonly used in satellite television and cable modemsOlder installations used the RG59 cable before the implantation of the RG6 cable. The RG59 cable is thinner at a 20 American Wire Gauge (AWG) and has a copper center conductor. This cable is more likely to be found in older buildings and is better for CCTV and analog video systems.

The RG6 cable is a larger 18 AWG cable and also has a copper center conductor. The RG6 cable is used with high-bandwidth and high-frequency hardware, where internet and satellite signals can run at a higher frequency compared to traditional analog video.

What cable an individual may need will most of the time depend on the frequency. Above 50 MHz, and an individual should use an RG6 cable.


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What Is the Cost of Wiring an Office Building?

2021 Office Building Wiring Costs: How Much Does Office Building Wiring Cost?

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Costs of Office Building Wiring

In today’s information-driven corporate world, reliable data and voice cabling are essential. Cabling issues are one of the most common causes of network issues, which cost businesses millions of dollars each year. Outdated cabling might also put your company at a disadvantage, if not right now, then in the future. If your company is relocating, now is the ideal moment to replace your network infrastructure. Even if you’re remaining there, upgrading your network is one of the most forward-thinking decisions a company can make.

Network Cabling Considerations

Voice and data wiring is a highly technical and job-specific topic that should be thoroughly examined with a data cabling provider. The following material is intended to provide you with a basic understanding of how network cabling works and what to think about before starting a new installation.

Average Costs of Office Building Wiring

In addition to the overall number of drops, the cost of office building wiring is determined by the number of faceplates, patch panels, network racks, and switches required, as well as installation, set-up, activation, and testing fees.

Which Cable Is Best For A New Generation Internet Connection? Cat5 Vs. Cat6 Vs. Cat7 Cables

It is well accepted that constructing a new home is a difficult process, particularly when it comes to setting up a new network. In the long run of network cables, Cat5 network cable appears to be lagging behind significantly. Both Cat6 and Cat7 Ethernet cables are solid options for future-proofing network lines. For most Ethernet users, allodoxaphobia would arise in this situation regarding the best option. In the following four aspects, this article will compare the differences between Cat5, Cat6, and Cat7 network cables and help you pick the best one for your new home.


Network cables, as well as Cat6 and Cat7 Ethernet cables, must meet strict specifications. Cat7 cable has even stricter crosstalk and system noise standards than Cat6 cable. Individual wire pairs on the Cat7 cable now have shielding. Furthermore, CAT7 Ethernet is backward compatible with Cat5 and Cat6 Ethernet. Shielding has also been provided to the Category 7 cable for individual wire pairs. With no contact pins and a printed circuit board with contact pads built into the RJ45 type chassis, Xmultiple’s UltraJAX connections are created exclusively for these fast speeds.

Gigabit Ethernet

When setting up a network in a new home, we must consider the expected network speed in the coming years. Will 10G be able to be used by household equipment in the next ten years? People used to install cat6 instead of cat5e years ago. They felt the market transitioned from 1G, which can run on 5e, to 10G, which requires cat6a or cat7. Those who thought they would “save” money in the future discovered they had squandered it. They currently run 1G over their extremely costly (at the time of installation) cat6 cable, and if they ever want to go faster, they’ll have to replace it as if it were cat5e.

Transmission Frequency & Cabling Length

Cat6 cable has a maximum transmission frequency of 250 MHz, whereas Cat7 cable has a maximum transmission frequency of 600 MHz. Cat6 network cable has a maximum length of 100 meters. Cat7 is a Gigabit Ethernet standard that runs over 100 meters of copper wiring.


With current SSD drives pushing above 500Mbytes, a 50% gain in around a year and a half, and 4K TVs requiring approximately 10gbs since you never have full bandwidth, you’re going to be bombarded with spam.

In the opinion of one user, if the difference is only a few hundred pounds, he would choose cat7aCat7 and Cat6 cables are both more costly than Cat5e and Cat5Cat7 cable is more expensive than Cat6 cable in terms of cost. If you can’t afford both of them, Cat5e is a decent alternative for a 10G network.

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Cat7 Vs. Cat6: How to Choose?

Cat7 cable is more ideal for setting up a new residence, according to network development trends. The Cat7a network cable is especially well-suited to the new home. It will work up to 50 meters under 40 Gigabit Ethernet and up to 15 meters under 100 Gigabit Ethernet. Cat6 and Cat5e cable are also fantastic options if you’re on a limited budget.