The Pros and Cons of Using Shielded Network Cables

We are living in a world, where electronic devices have gained a lot of prominence in the recent decade. And, as a matter of fact, every electronic item, which is powered by electricity, by some way, emit electromagnetic energy, which are in the form of radio emissions, or in the frequency range of RF emissions. Since, the signals are in the range of AM/FM radio frequency range, these emissions can easily be caught with a RF signal detector. Now, the problem with these emissions is that, it causes other equipment’s in the nearby area to falter in the effects of these emissions. The emissions cause interference in the normal functioning of the nearby equipment’s and hence, disrupt the functioning of those systems. For instance, if there is a CCTV camera near an equipment, which is emitting electromagnetic energy, then, it might disrupt the picture quality of the camera or the monitor. Other nearby devices can also get disrupted by this emission.

In this device intensive world, it is very important for all the electromagnetic equipment’s to adhere by the rules of EMC or Electromagnetic Compatibility. Adhering to EMC simply means that, the equipment will not disrupt other equipment’s or not get disrupted by the electromagnetic emission from other components. In order for the EMC to work, you need to take care of two things, the first being emission of signals from the equipment and second is immunity from the signals emitted by other equipment’s. Now, what is immunity? Immunity is the ability of any electronic equipment to tolerate the emissions from any electrical or electrical equipment nearby. While setting up a network, or while manufacturer manufacture an equipment, they should take care of both the factors.

Now, here in this article, we are talking about a network deployment in an area which is prone to RF emissions. Now, if a network is deployed in a RF emission prone area, then it is very much susceptible to these emission, which can falter the network. Now, the main cause of emission in a network deployed can be using an unshielded twisted pair or in other words, UTP cables, rather than using shielded network cables or in other words, STP cables. Now, the main and the primary difference between the two is that, STP cables are for home use, and has high emission requirements, which means the emission will be much lower, while the UTP cables has a low emission requirement, which will increase emission and cause Interference.

The main issue that you may face while using a UTP cable in an environment which is highly susceptible to emission, is that, it will not safeguard your network against those emissions, and therefore will disrupt the normal functioning of the system. So, if there are motors and other high power electrical devices running nearby the network deployed, it is wiser to use a STP cable. But, if the network is there in a highly independent region with no other devices around, there is no reason, not to use UTP cable.

The pros of a STP cable is that, it can safeguard the system from the emissions from the other systems and can also stop the emission of the network to go to other systems and cause interference. On the contrary, STP cables are costly and is not very flexible, and hence, the installation also can cost a bit more.

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