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Shielded vs. Unshielded PC Network Cables- Which Is Better?


In today’s digital age, network cables are essential for connecting our computers and devices to the internet and each other. However, the choice between shielded and unshielded network cables can be a daunting one. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of each type to help you determine which is the better option for your needs.

Shielded Network Cables

EMI/RFI Protection

Shielded network cables are designed with a protective layer of foil or braid, which helps to block electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). This interference can cause data transmission errors and slow down your network speed. Shielded cables are therefore recommended for use in environments with high levels of electrical noise, such as near power lines, motors, or other electronic equipment.


The protective layer in shielded network cables also provides added durability. They are less susceptible to damage from physical impacts and external factors such as UV rays and moisture. As a result, shielded cables have a longer lifespan than unshielded cables.



Shielded network cables are typically more expensive than unshielded cables due to the additional materials and manufacturing process involved.


Shielded cables are stiffer and less flexible than unshielded cables, making them more difficult to install in tight spaces or around corners.

Unshielded Network Cables

Lower Cost

Unshielded network cables are often the more affordable option, especially for home and small business use.


Unshielded cables are more flexible and easier to install than shielded cables. They can be bent around corners and routed through tight spaces without difficulty.


Susceptibility to EMI/RFI

Unshielded network cables are more susceptible to EMI/RFI than shielded cables. This can be a problem in environments with high levels of electrical noise, as it can degrade signal quality and cause data errors.


Unshielded cables are less durable than shielded cables and are more prone to damage from physical impacts and environmental factors.


The choice between shielded and unshielded network cables depends on your specific needs and environment. If you need reliable data transmission in an environment with high levels of electrical noise, then shielded cables are the better option. However, if cost and flexibility are more important factors, then unshielded cables may be a suitable choice.

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