What is a Paired cable

A paired cable is a type of cable made by putting two separate insulated copper wires together in a twisted fashion and running them parallel to each other. By twisting the wires together electromagnetic induction can be reduced. Different types of paired cables can be made by varying the wire gauge for the inner conductors and the number of times the wires are twisted per inch.

This type of cable is widely used in various kinds of data and voice systems.

Paired cables also come in shielded and unshielded varieties. A shielded cable encases the wires in a conducting shield which provides extra protection from electromagnetic interference. By contrast, unshielded cables do not rely on a physical barrier to block interference. They instead rely on balancing and filtering techniques to cancel out the noise caused by electromagnetic induction.

Unshielded cables are generally easier to maintain than shielded ones. The quality of the signals transmitted along shielded cables can be compromised if the insulating foil becomes damaged or the cable is combined with improperly shielded connectors, hardware or outlets. Also, shielded cabling systems require good grounding and earthing practices to be in place to prevent emissions and interference. This problem is more pressing for longer cables as grounding can become ineffective at a certain length.

On the other hand, unshielded cables are relatively lightweight, thin and flexible. They have fewer vulnerabilities and are easier to install.