Coaxial cable Vs. Twisted pair:  A Detailed Comparison Between These Two Types

About Coaxial cable Vs. Twisted pair, In communication systems, you may use different types of network cables like twisted pair, coaxial, or fiber optic.

All these cables have different characteristics and, thus, are suitable for various network applications. So, what’s the difference between all these cables? 

This article will discuss the features, specifications, and differences between coaxial cable vs. twisted pair.

What is a twisted pair?

Twisted pair cables comprise a pair of wires forming a circuit to transmit data in telephone communications.

These wires are twisted together to protect cables against crosstalk, the disturbance created by the adjacent pairs, and that’s where the cables got their name. 

Twisted pair cables are of two types based on the availability of shields on the wires; unshielded twisted pair or UTP and Shielded twisted pair or STP.

As the name clears, unshielded twisted pair cables do not have any shielding, and their main types are Cat5, Cat5e, cat 6/6a, and cat7.

On the other hand, STP cables have a foil wrap on each of the twisted pair wires. After individual covering, the wires are further covered in a metallic foil or braid.

As a result, the STP cables are more capable of resisting noise than unshielded ones when you use both in 10GBASE-T.

Category 6 network cable twisted pair

Category 6 network cable twisted pair

What is a coaxial cable?

Coaxial cable, or coax cable, comprises a solid copper conductor with three layers of shielding and insulation, preventing crosstalk from lighting, motors, or any EMI source.

These cables have shield construction for transmitting high-frequency signals, so they can easily support long lengths between devices.

Although different types of coaxial cables are available, you will find only two coax cables as the most common in residential applications; RG59 and RG6.

RG refers to the radio guide, and the name dates back to World War II.

However, it does not refer to anything in today’s scenario.

Coaxial cable 

Coaxial cable 

Coaxial cable vs. twisted pair: Similarities

As coaxial and twisted pair cables comprise copper wires with insulation, they can transmit telephone and Tv signals and other data with electric signals.

You can find these data cables in LAN networks as they protect against signal interference.

Twisted pair cable Vs. Coaxial cable: what’s the difference

Apart from the construction differences, there are several other differences between these two types of cables.

These differences are related to their performance and capability. 

Speed bandwidth and distance:

Although both these cables transmit electric signals, their speed and bandwidth may differ.

A twisted pair cable can transmit data at a rate of 10Gbps up to 100m with an upper bandwidth limit of 4700 MHz, while a coaxial cable transmits data up to 500m with a default bandwidth of 750 MHz.

Cable price: 

The cable price may vary based on the supplier and the vendor.

A 50 feet cat6 unshielded twisted pair cable (24 AWG and snag less-booted) may cost you around $8-9, while 50 feet coaxial cable RG6 may cost you around $10-13.

Also, remember that a twisted pair cable comes with an RJ45 connector and may cost less than a coaxial cable with a BNC connector.

Installation

Though it is easier to install coaxial and twisted pair cables for longer distances, it may become challenging to maintain coaxial cables for such long distances due to the dielectric insulator around the solid copper in them.

Application

Twisted pair cables are most common in data and telephone networks, where cable shielding is required.

On the other hand, coaxial cables are used in feedlines that connect radio transmitters and receivers with antennas, S/PDIF, distributing cable TV signals, and in computer network connections.

Further, you can also use them in HD media interface connections. 

Conclusion

Both twisted pair cable and coaxial cable are suitable for network applications; however, choosing one depends on the application’s cost, performance, and transmission distance.

Further, the cable’s performance in an application also depends on its quality which always gives a long-lasting performance. 

At Cloom, you can get superior-quality cable assemblies and wiring harnesses for all needs. Contact our professionals for detailed information.        

Leave a Comment