What is a shielded twisted pair cable? Its types, working, advantages, disadvantages & Applications

A shielded twisted pair (STP) cable is a type of cable that is commonly used in networking and telecommunications applications to transmit data signals. It is constructed by twisting pairs of wires together, with an additional layer of shielding material (such as foil or braided copper) around the wires to reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) that can negatively affect data transmission.

Types of STP cables:

  1. Foil shielded twisted pair (FTP) – this type of cable has an overall foil shield that covers all the pairs of twisted wires within the cable.
  2. Braided shielded twisted pair (BSTP) – this type of cable has a braided copper shield that covers all the pairs of twisted wires within the cable.

features of Shielded twisted pair cable:

  1. Twisted Pair: STP cable consists of two or more copper wires that are twisted together to reduce interference from external sources, such as electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI).
  2. Shielding: In addition to the twisted pair, STP cable also has a metallic shield that surrounds the wires. This shield helps to further reduce interference from external sources and also protects the signal from interference generated within the cable.
  3. Grounding: To ensure the shield is effective, it must be grounded at both ends of the cable. This helps to create a low-impedance path for any interference that may be present.
  4. Noise Reduction: The shielding and grounding of STP cable help to reduce noise in the signal, which can improve the quality and reliability of data transmission.
  5. Higher Data Rates: The noise reduction properties of STP cable also make it suitable for high-speed data transmission applications, such as those used in Ethernet and other network technologies.
  6. More Expensive: Due to the extra shielding, STP cable is generally more expensive than unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable, which is a similar type of cable without the shielding.
  7. Heavy and Bulky: The extra shielding and grounding can make STP cable heavier and bulkier than UTP cable, which can make it more difficult to install and manage in certain environments.


When data is transmitted through an STP cable, the signals are carried through the twisted pairs of wires, with the shield layer providing protection from external interference. The twisting of the wires helps to cancel out any electromagnetic interference that may be present, reducing the amount of noise and signal degradation that can occur during transmission.


  1. Better protection against EMI and RFI interference
  2. Higher bandwidth capabilities than unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cables
  3. Improved signal quality and reliability
  4. Suitable for use in environments where there is a high level of electromagnetic interference, such as industrial settings or areas with high electrical activity.


  1. More expensive than UTP cables
  2. Heavier and less flexible than UTP cables, making them more difficult to install
  3. More susceptible to crosstalk between adjacent pairs of wires


  1. Ethernet networks
  2. Telephony and data transmission
  3. CCTV security systems
  4. Industrial automation and control systems
  5. Military and aerospace applications.

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