Solid Cable vs. Stranded Cable

As we know, bulk Ethernet cable can be divided into unshielded twisted cable (UTP) and shielded cable (STP) according to the structure of shielding. Apart from this, bulk Ethernet cable can also be divided into solid cable and stranded cable. These two types of bulk Ethernet cables have their individual features and advantages. As they can be easily found in Ethernet network applications, how much do you know about them? This article will mainly make a comparison between solid cable and stranded cable.

Overview of Solid and Stranded Cable

Solid cable is made up of a single and solid wire per conductor. That means in four twisted pairs cat6 cable reel, there are a total eight solid wires. This type of cable is used for home electrical cabling, cabling for breadboards and other situations where cables are not required to be constantly flexed. Stranded cable consists of multiple smaller-gauge wires wrapped around each other in each conductor. That is to say in a four twisted pairs Ethernet cable with seven strands per conductor, there are a total of fifty-six wires. This type of cable is typically used in situations where cables need to be routed into tight spaces or experience frequent flexing or vibrations. To better understand the difference of the inner structure between solid cable and stranded cable, here is a figure for you.

Solid cable and Stranded Cable

Comparison Between Solid Cable and Stranded Cable

With different structural designs, both solid cable and stranded cable have advantages and disadvantages. Hence, the following part will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of these two types of cables.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Solid Cable

Solid cable is often favored because of its cheaper production costs. It is simple but quite durable. With single and solid wire, solid cable is very easy to produce. Solid cable also has a much more compact diameter compared to stranded cable. Though the sized is reduced, it still has the same carrying ability as stranded cable. In addition, solid cable is less likely to fail due to the corrosion. However, one of the main problems with solid cable is that it is typically only available in small gauges. Also, if there is constant flexing or vibration, the cable would eventually wear down and break, resulting in the need for a replacement. Therefore, solid cable is not optimal for applications like robotics or vehicles that require a considerable amount of movement. The figure below shows the detail information about gray solid cat6 bulk cable 1000 ft from FS.COM and the price is about US$ 130.00, which is really a cost-effective option.

product datails about cat6 bulk cable 1000 ft

Advantages and Disadvantages of Stranded Cable

Stranded cable is easier to route in comparison to solid cable. It is very flexible. And stranded cable can withstand an incredible amount of vibrations and flexing without fatiguing and breaking. As a result, you won’t have to replace your stranded cables as often as will be necessary with solid cable. But stranded cable is more expensive. It is more costly to produce due to the more complex manufacturing process that is required to develop these intricate wires. Also, stranded cable is much more likely to fail as a result of corrosion from capillary action. In addition, stranded cable has a higher attenuation, so it is not suitable for long runs.

Conclusion

With the diversity and popularity of the bulk Ethernet cable, it is critical to choose the right type of cable for the network deployment. Like the two types of Ethernet cables mentioned above, the solid cable is less flexible but cheaper than the stranded cable, and it is less likely to fail due to the corrosion. If you want to make a permanent cabling, then the solid cable is a good choice for you which will save you a lot. But if your cabling network needs to move cables constantly, then you are strongly suggested to choose the stranded cable.

Difference Between Straight-Through Cable and Crossover Cable

It is well known that bulk Ethernet cable consists of four twisted pairs of copper wires and utilizes them to support data transmission between devices. To meet the demand of increasingly higher data rates and larger bandwidths, Ethernet cables have been upgraded constantly, from cat5, cat5e, cat6, cat6a to cat7. Although various types of Ethernet cables look the same, the internal wiring scheme distinguishes. With different wire arrangements inside the cables, Ethernet cables can be divided into straight-through cables and crossover cables. Then, what is the difference between them? This article will tell the answer.

Different Wiring Standards for Wire Arrangements

Before discussing the difference between straight-through cable and crossover cable, it is necessary to learn about two wiring standards—T568A and T568B, which can help you better understand the different wire arrangements inside these two types of cables. T568A and T568B wiring standards are recognized by ANSI, TIA and EIA for wiring Ethernet cables. Generally speaking, T568B is more widely used than T568A. And T568B is regarded as the default wiring scheme for twisted pair structured cabling. Here is a figure of T568A and T568B wiring standards, from which we can easily find that the only difference between T568A and T568B is the orientation of the green and orange wire pairs.

T568A and T568B

Comparison of Straight-Through Cable and Crossover Cable

As mentioned above, straight-through cable and crossover cable are designed with different wire arrangements for serving different purposes. Hence, the following part will focus on the comparison of these two types of cables from these two aspects.

Different Wire Arrangements

Straight-through cable uses one wiring standard. That means both ends of one straight-through cable use T568A wiring standard or T568B wiring standard. As for crossover cable, it uses two wiring standards: one end uses the T568A wiring standard, and the other end uses the T568B wiring standard. The internal wiring of crossover cables reverses the transmit and receive signals. For a better understanding of inner wire arrangements of straight-through cable and crossover cable, here are two figures for you.

Straight-through cable

Crossover cable

Different Applications

Straight-through cable is the most common type which is easy to find in stores. It is used to connect different type of devices, such as connecting a computer to a switch/hub’s normal port or a cable/DSL modem’s LAN port; a router’s WAN port to a cable/DSL modem’s LAN port; a router’s LAN port to a switch/hub’s uplink port (normally used for expanding network); 2 switches/hubs with one of the switch/hub using an uplink port and the other one using normal port. While crossover cables may be a little harder to find since they aren’t used nearly as much as straight-through cables. They are usually used to connect the same type of devices, like connecting 2 computers directly; a router’s LAN port to a switch/hub’s normal port (normally used for expanding network); 2 switches/hubs by using normal port in both switches/hubs.

Conclusion

Straight-through cable and crossover cable are structured with different wire arrangements and used for different applications. The straight-through cable is usually used for connecting two different kinds of devices, while the crossover cable is commonly used to connect the same type of devices. If you want to distinguish these two types of cables, you can just have a look at the order of the colored wires inside the RJ45 connector. If the color orders of the wires are the same on both ends, it means it is a straight-through cable. If not, it’s mostly like a crossover cable or there may be a wiring error inside the cable. At present, straight-through cable is much more popular than crossover cable and is widely used by people. FS.COM provides a full range straight-through bulk Ethernet cables with many colors and lengths options, such as red cat5e cable 1000 ft. If you want to know more details, please visit our site.

UTP Cable vs. STP Cable

It is well known that twisted pair cable consists of a pair of insulated wires twisted together, which is widely used for Ethernet cable. In general, there are several types of twisted pair cables, such as, UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cable, STP (shielded twisted pair) cable, SSTP (screened shielded twisted pair) and FTP (foil twisted pair). Among these cables, UTP and STP are the two most commonly used cables which occupy the majority of the market. Are you familiar with UTP cable and STP cable? What is the difference between UTP and STP cables? Which one is better? If you don’t have enough knowledge of these two kinds of cables, you may feel confused when you plan to buy bulk Ethernet cables. As it is necessary to make a choice between UTP and STP cables for deploying the network, this article is going to introduce these two kinds of twisted pair cables in details, seeking the answer.

What Is UTP Cable?

From its name, it is easy to learn that UTP cable has no shielding. Considering that the shielding feature is mainly designed to reduce Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), does the UTP cable have this function if put into use? In fact, UTP cable reduces the interference directly through the twisted pairs inside the cable. Furthermore, without shielding, UTP cable is thinner, lighter, more flexible and more durable than STP cable, which makes cable installation easier, especially in limited space. In addition, not relying on an outer shield, less money will be spent on the maintenance of UTP cable, which is beneficial to save the investment on installation and maintenance. To better understand the inner structure of UTP cable, here is a figure for you.

UTP Cable

What Is STP Cable?

STP cable has a metal shield around each twisted pair which is composed of copper tape, a layer of conducting polymer or a braid (made of copper or aluminum mostly). The shield can be applied to each pair of the cable or to all pairs together. With the shield, EMI can be greatly reduced, which enables the high performance of data transmission between different devices. Also, the crosstalk can be efficiently prevented by the shield, which exists among the wires inside the cable. However, the shield of STP cable is quite fragile and rigid. If the shield suffers damage, the cabling system is likely to be affected by interference. Therefore, it is necessary to pay much attention to the installation and maintenance of STP cable. You can learn more about the structure of STP cable from the figure below.

STP Cable

Applications

Due to different characteristics, the two kinds of cables are used in different environment.

STP cables are often used in high EMI environment where interference is a risk. For example, airports, hospitals and factories usually have lots of machines that can produce interference, so it would be more beneficial to apply STP cables. And STP cables are also useful when cables are surrounded by fluorescent lights, microwave ovens, powerful motors and other equipment with larger electromagnetic interference.

UTP cables are typically used in offices and homes. If the interference or crosstalk is not the main concern, it is suggested to choose UTP cables which are lower in cost. But if the environment is full of powerful magnetic fields which may have an influence on the performance of network, STP cables are absolutely the optimal choice.

Conclusion

After discussion, we can learn that UTP cable is cheaper, easier to install and more suitable for environment with low EMI; while STP has a stronger ability for anti-interference and needs careful maintenance. If the place you deploy network has high EMI, STP cable is highly recommended; if the EMI is not a risk, you are suggested to choose UTP cable which is lower in cost. I hope this article can help you choose the suitable Ethernet cable. There are different types of Ethernet cables available in FS.COM, such as UTP bulk cat5e cable, STP bulk cat6 cable, UTP cat6a bulk cable, STP cat7 bulk cable and so on. If you want to know more details, please visit our site or contact us.