Shielded vs Unshielded Cable
Shielded is more expensive than unshielded Ethernet cable and more difficult to install; it’s stiffer, making it less flexible. The cable also has a larger diameter, taking up more space in conduit. UTP, on the other hand, actually provides faster transmissions in the absence of EMI. It’s less expensive to purchase, easier to install, and has been the standard for many years, so it’s already in place in most existing installations.
Regardless of whether you choose UTP or STP, make sure to install high-quality cabling. The better the quality of the cables used, the more years of service you will get out of the installation, reducing long-term replacement and labor costs.
Our Recommendations for using Shielded vs Unshielded:
Using non-shielded Cat5E/6 cable in areas that have typical emissive environments (i.e., cable pull is NOT located next to high power EMF sources)
If cable IS located to high EMF sources:
- Use shielded Cat5E/6 cable, and ONLY ground ONE of the Cat5E/6 cable connectors, which is closest to earth ground potential.
- Do NOT have both ends of the shielded cable/connectors tied to Earth ground at each side of the cable run.
This causes ground loop issues and will cause premature failure of PoE power supplies.