Mar 10

Understanding cable seems to be an after thought when purchasing a more expensive item like a cabinet or rack, but a lot goes into choosing the right cable for your data center. Let’s dive into a couple of the basic differences between cable and their applications.

Cable: Shielded (STP) vs. Unshielded (UTP)

Common question – What’s the difference between shielded and unshielded… and which do I need?

Let’s look at the anatomy of the cable to see the difference. As Ethernet cables are twisted like so, there can be some interference… to help with this interference manufacturers provide the option for shielded. Each pair will have a thin shield wrapped around it to protect against possible crosstalk…

Shielded is a better solution when you have a greater chance of interference, such as in walls or outdoors. Unshielded is best used as a connection between your computer and the wall as you should rarely run into any kind of interference here.


Cable: Solid vs. Stranded

When talking about stranded and solid, we’re actually referring to the copper conductor found within the pairs.

Solid has a single wrap of copper… where as standed… has multiple neatly bound together.

Because there are multiple strands, it allows for additional flexibility, making stranded a much better application where cables would be moved around frequently.

Solid is just as it sounds, firm and solid. It’s a far more durable cable, but it isn’t very flexible, so it’s best to apply solid cable in spaces where it will be near permanent such as inside walls or outdoor areas.

Susan Wynne
By Susan Wynne
Account Manager Rackmount Solutions