Today, applications are requiring more and more Bandwidth and more types of businesses are using applications in factory like environments that require protection from EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) and RFI (Radio Frequency Interference).  This calls for a specific kind of cable that can handle the bandwidth requirements and protect from those types of interference.  Past improvements in the cable twist did increase how many gigabits and also reject noise but to protect from environments with high EMI, this will require a cat 6 shielded cable.  How do you know if to use a shielded or unshielded cat6 cable and what type of cable can handle how much data?  Let me show you a Diagram that illustrates just how much speed each cable is capable of transferring.


Now on to Shielded cable and the different types available

Your options:

UTP– no shield

S/UTP -has an overall cable shield

STP– that has an individual shields for each twisted pair

S/STP– has both overall as well as individual shields for each twisted pair.


Cat 6a STP versus UTP Cables

There are advantages of both cables in the right environment.  Depending on the amount of EMI or RFI you will want to use one or the other.  Cat6a can support up to a 10 Gigabits but won’t protect from EMI from Machinery lights and motors and even medical imaging equipment or RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) from things like cell phones, wireless access points and radios.  If EMI and RFI are not an issue but space is.  The Diameter of unshielded cable tends to be smaller than shielded and allows you to fit into a smaller space for tight runs.

All shields are tied together electrically for easier termination.  So they can only be grounded if they are placed in a jack that’s shielding is tied to the ground.  This means Cat 6 shielded cables need to use Cat 6 Shielded couplers and jacks.  For more information on what type of cable your business needs, contact Midwest Telephone.

Interested in more topics about cables?

Learn more about CAT5e Vs CAT6

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