UTP Cable - Unshielded Twisted Pair Cable
Unshielded Twisted pair cable is a form of cable where "two" unshielded wires are twisted around each other to reduce the interference caused by an external source. UTP is the cost-effective alternative to other type of cabling used in networking, namely the coaxial and fiber optic cables.
UTP cable does not offer ultra high bandwidth or high level of protection against interference like Coaxial or fiber optic do, but due to its low cost and reliability it is used extensively for local area networks. The prefix "unshielded" was added to it, because of the fact that the insulated pair of conductor is not shielded with any sort of mesh or foil.
There are different categories of UTP cable based on the data rate and the kind of network architecture they support. For instance the Cat 1 UTP cable supports data rate of upto 1 Mbps and it was designed for traditional telephone or ISDN network. The Cat5e and Cat 6 cable supports a data rate of upto 1000 Mbps and is known as Gigabit Ethernet.