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UTP vs. STP ethernet cable

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by James3300, Aug 25, 2010.

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  1. James3300


    Aug 25, 2010

    This is my first post here; I found these forums when googling a bit of an issue I have. So Hi. Sorry if this is in the wrong place or anything in advance.

    Anyways, onto the issue. I am building a gaming room on the other side of my house, and I need a long Ethernet cable to plug into my xbox 360. I was shopping for this cable on a site I use frequently ( ), but haven't bought an ethernet cable in years, I didn't know exactly what I was looking for. I figured I should get something with a high MHz as I'm assuming thats the frequency. I found a few UTP ethernet cables all for around $11.44 in various colors, but right below those, for exactly double the price I could get a shielded cable. Not knowing what this meant, I decided to look it up. I learned that it protects from electromagnetic pulses with the metal shielding over the cable, which can contribute to packet loss. $30 dollars ($22+shipping) isn't a lot to me to spend; I wouldn't mind too much either way if it would mean I get better results. However I found on this site (from This thread, to be exact) that STP isn't always the way to go if you don't ground the cable.

    So I guess my question is, which cable is best for me? I will be running it from my router to under my house into the crawl space, where it is sandy, dirty and sometimes damp with lots of pipes going about(for those who are unfamiliar with a crawl space) all the way to the other side of the house and up, through the floor into the room with the game setup. I don't think I actually want to bury the cable itself in the sand, it would likely just rest ontop of the sand and sometimes be draped over a pipe or two. I guess I am asking this because I get a "need for speed" itch I suppose, and wouldn't mind paying extra for a "shilded" cable that would possibly give me a better connection. If you can, please refrain from saying "there's no difference, get the UTP" unless there truly is no difference. If theres any slight advantage that STP offers to me in my situation, please explain it if you can.

    Thanks a ton.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    I believe an XBox is 100Mbit. You should be looking for a cable made from CAT-5 cable or better.

    Unless you foresee wanting gigabit ethernet, that would be fine. If it's fixed cabling, I'd go for better cable so you don't have to re-wire it later if you do get something that needs it.

    I've never seen a network that uses shielded twisted pair cables for ethernet. Unless your installation is special (and electrically very noisy) I suspect that you won't need it.
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