What is a UTP cable?

Surely you have some UTP cable at home and you don’t know exactly what it is. We use the Internet on a daily basis in almost any situation in our lives. If you don’t believe it, look in your home and you will see the wide variety of devices that are connected to the Internet.

In order to have a stable network, it is recommended to connect our devices with a UTP cable. This is a network cable and is made for data transfer and telephony. Therefore, its main function is to connect devices to each other and/or the Internet. We see more about this type of cable.

What is a UTP cable


What is a UTP cable?

The acronym for UTP cable stands for “unshielded twisted pair.” In the jacket of a UTP cable, you will find eight separate wires. All cables are twisted into four pairs. A connector can be placed at the end of these cables. These connectors are also known as RJ45 plugs.

How does UTP cable work?

What is a UTP cable?

The UTP cable has the function of transmitting the signal. To avoid malformations, they are joined in pairs, thus having eight different cables that are twisted into four different pairs. The two individual wires of a pair wrap around each other, and then the pairs wrap around each other, too. This is done to reduce electromagnetic interference.

Such interference can degrade network performance. Each signal on a twisted pair requires both wires. Twisted pairs are color-coded for easy identification of each pair.

Typically, in one pair there is one solid colored wire while the second contains stripes in the color of its partner.

UTP cable categories

There are a wide variety of categories were to frame a UTP cable. Starting from Cat5 (category 5), we are already able to use Cat7. And it does not end there, because within these categories there are other different types of UTP cables.

The difference between these categories is the different bandwidths that the cables can work with. For example, a Cat8 has the highest data transfer.

Below you can find an overview of the different cables and the corresponding speeds:

UTP Categories
UTP Categories

Is UTP cable the same as Ethernet?

It is common for people to cable Ethernet to a UTP because all networks follow the IEEE standards for Ethernet cabling. The original Ethernet standard was developed by Xerox in the 1970s. It is now managed by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), a working group that develops standards for Ethernet networks.

Also, providers often advertise UTP as Ethernet cables. UTP cables are the most common cables used in networks and have been closely identified as Ethernet cables.

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