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

A twisted pair cable is a type of cable that consists of two copper wires twisted around each other to reduce interference from other devices and external electromagnetic fields. The twisted pair cable is used for transmitting analogue and digital signals over short to medium distances.

Types of Twisted Pair Cables:

  1. Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP): It is the most common type of twisted pair cable used in Ethernet networks. It has no additional shielding to protect against electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI).
  2. Shielded Twisted Pair (STP): It has a metal shield to protect the wires from EMI and RFI, which makes it more expensive than UTP. It is commonly used in industrial applications where high levels of EMI are present.

Working of twisted pair cable:

The twisted pair cable works by reducing the electromagnetic interference between the two wires. The twists in the cable cause the electromagnetic fields around each wire to cancel each other out, resulting in a net electromagnetic field of zero. This allows the cable to transmit signals without interference from external sources.


  1. Affordable: Twisted pair cables are relatively inexpensive and readily available.
  2. Flexibility: They are flexible and can be easily installed in tight spaces.
  3. Wide Range: They can transmit signals over a wide range of frequencies and can be used for both analog and digital signals.
  4. Easy to Install: They are easy to install and terminate compared to other types of cables.


  1. Limited Distance: Twisted pair cables have a limited distance for transmission of signals, typically less than 100 meters.
  2. Susceptible to Interference: Although they are designed to reduce interference, they are still susceptible to it, especially over longer distances and in areas with high levels of EMI.
  3. Limited Bandwidth: They have a limited bandwidth compared to fiber optic cables and coaxial cables.


  1. Local Area Networks (LANs): Twisted pair cables are commonly used for LANs, connecting computers, printers, and other network devices.
  2. Telephone Networks: Twisted pair cables are also used for telephone networks to transmit voice signals.
  3. Security Systems: They are used for security systems, connecting cameras and sensors to a central monitoring system.
  4. Industrial Automation: Twisted pair cables are used in industrial automation applications to connect sensors, controllers, and other devices.

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