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What is an UTP cable?

15 May 2018

Internet is taking an increasingly important part of our lives. More and more things are being done online. Have a look at home how many devices are connected to the internet. Probably that various devices such as your computer, the printer, a media box, TV receiver and maybe even a NAS.

All these devices need internet. For a stable (home) network, it is recommended to connect these devices with a UTP cable.

UTP stands for Unshielded Twisted Pair. This is a cable that is used for data transfer and phoning. In the mantle of a UTP cable you will find eight separate veins. All the veins are twisted in four pairs. A connector can be placed on the end of these cables. Also called and RJ-45 connection.

UTP cables appear in various categories and versions. These categories range from UTP Cat5 to UTP Cat7. Within these categories there are also different types of UTP cables, the UTP Cat5 and UTP Cat5e. The big difference between these categories is the different bandwidths with which the cables can work. For example, a UTP Cat 7 cable has the highest data transfer. Below is an overview of the various cables and the corresponding speeds:

  • UTP Cat5, has a bandwidth of 100mbit/s
  • UTP Cat6, has a bandwidth of 1.000mbit/s
  • UTP Cat7, has a bandwidth of 10.000mbit/s


As you can see, the higher the category, the higher the speed of the cable. However, a high category is not always better. For example, you have to keep in mind that not all your network equipment can process so much data. If the router can only process 100mbit /s and it is connected to a UTP Cat7 cable, the maximum speed will still be 100mbit /s.

UTP cables also have various protections. The so-called shields of the internal cables. To make this clear, an overview is given below:

Old nameNew nameCable shieldVein shield
S-FTPSF/UTPfoil, braidednone

The thickness of the internal cables of a UTP cable are indicated in AWG. AWG stands for "American wire gauge". With UTP cables you often see that this value is 23AWG or 24AWG. The rule that applies to AWG is: The lower the number, the thicker the cable. This can be explained by the way the cable is made. It corresponds to how often the cable is pulled through a mold. The more often that happens, the thinner the cable will be.

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