I was ordering some cat5 cable with RJ45 connectors for a home network and was looking around to get quite a lot cheaply. I found what I wanted at the ever excellent lindy.com where I managed to get a 30metre cable for £5.22 in their special offers section.
Well I stumbled across the terms UTP and FTP. What do they mean?
UTP stands for Unshielded Twisted Pair
FTP stands for Foil Twisted Pair
A thin-diameter wire (22 to 26 gauge) commonly used for telephone and network cabling. The wires are twisted around each other to minimize interference from other twisted pairs in the cable (Alexander Graham Bell invented this and was awarded a patent for it in 1881). Twisted pairs have less bandwidth than coaxial cable or optical fiber.
UTP, STP, ScTP, FTP
Twisted pair cables are available unshielded (UTP) or shielded (STP), with UTP being the most common. STP is used in noisy environments where the shield around each of the wire pairs, plus an overall shield, protects against excessive electromagnetic interference. A variation of STP, known as ScTP for "screened twisted pair" or FTP for "foil twisted pair," uses only the overall shield and provides more protection than UTP, but not as much as STP.
Isn't that interesting.