It is a proxy is sometimes referred to as a proxy server software program that serves to act as an intermediary the server and the client via the internet. Without a proxy, a client can make a request for a request directly to the server, and the server would deliver the requested resource directly to the client. While this process is simple to understand and implement, however the addition of proxy servers may provide benefits in terms of increased performance, privacy, security as well as other benefits. As an additional pass-through layer, proxies act as a guardian to the internet between users and servers.

In general the mix of server hardware and proxy software is often described as a proxy server. The article we will focus on proxies typically considered to be software, and specifically, in relation with web server. There will be a discussion of the two principal kinds of proxies: the forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each has its own usage situation, however they’re often misunderstood due to a similar namesake convention.

This article will give you an understanding of what proxy services and subtypes of them are, and the ways they can be useful in the common configurations. In this article you’ll know what scenarios where you could benefit by a proxy. You’ll also be able to pick the best choice between reverse and forward proxy in each situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

A forward proxy, also known as the open proxy is an agent used by a user who is trying to make a request through the internet to an original server. In this case all requests from the client are instead sent through the forward proxy. In this scenario an agent acting on behalf of the forward proxy in in the place of the customer will look into the request. First, it will check if the client is permitted to send requests through this specific forward proxy. It will then reject any request or forward it to the original server. The client has no access to internet in any way. it only has access to what the forward proxy allows the client access.

The most common reason to utilize forward proxy is for greater privacy or protection online. A forward proxy uses an internet connection as a client and in this process it is using an alternate IP address for your client’s IP address.

Based on the way it was set up in the past, forward proxy servers can offer a range of features that allow you to:

Forward proxies can also be utilized in systems to provide central security as well as permission-based access, like in workplaces. If all internet traffic goes through an open forward proxy layer, administrators are able to permit only a few clients access to the internet via an common firewall. Instead of maintaining firewalls for the client layer, which could involve many machines with varying settings as well as users, firewalls could be added to the forward proxy layer.

Keep in mind that forward proxy settings have to be set up manually before they are able to be used for use in reverse proxies, whereas forward proxy servers are not able to be noticed by the user. Depending on the kind of IP address a user is relayed to the server from which it originated through the forward proxy privacy and anonymity could be granted or to go unnoticed.

There are a myriad of options to consider for forward proxy options:

Understanding Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy functions in the role of an intermediary the web server and it takes the care of requests coming in from clients on behalf of. The web server can function as a single server or multiple servers. It could also be an application-server such as Gunicorn. In any of these scenarios the request will be made by a client via the internet in general. In most cases, the request will be directly sent to the webserver that has all the resources that the client is wants. A reverse proxy functions as an intermediary, shielding the webserver from direct communication with the internet.

From the perspective of the user from a client’s perspective reverse proxy isn’t different from communicating with the server on its own. It’s functionally the same however the client cannot discern the difference. Client requests a resource and gets it, without additional configuration required on the part of the client.

Reverse proxy providers provide features like:

Although centralized security is a benefit of both forward and reverse proxy systems, reverse proxy providers apply offer this feature only to the level of an internet server, not the layer that clients use. instead of establishing firewalls at Web server layers, which could include many servers and different configurations, the majority of firewall security can be focused on the reverse proxy layer. In addition, getting rid of the responsibility of interacting with firewalls and interacting with clients’ requests that are not on web servers allows the firewall to focus on supplying the necessary resources.

If there are multiple servers that are operating as reverse proxy and the reverse proxy takes care of the method by which requests are routed to which server. A number of web servers could be connected to this server each providing different kinds of resources or a combination of both. They use the HTTP protocol just like a standard web server, but could also incorporate application server protocols such as FastCGI. You can set up a reverse proxy to route clients to specific servers based on the kind of resource they’re searching for or to follow certain guidelines regarding the load of traffic.

Reverse proxies can benefit from being placed above web servers by virtue of caching. Large static assets can be configured with caching rules to avoid hitting web servers with each request. There are a few options that allow users to serve static files without having to connect to the web server in any way. In addition, the reverse proxy can handle compressing these assets.

The popular Nginx web server is also a popular reverse proxy solution. While it’s factual that Apache webserver is equipped with reverse proxy function, it’s a feature available only for Apache but Nginx was designed originally for and is focused on reverse proxy features.

Differentiating Forward and Reverse Proxy Utilizing Differentiating Forward and Reverse Proxy Utilization

Because “forward” along with “reverse” come with connotations of directionality as well as misleading comparisons to “incoming” or “outgoing” traffic The labels could be confusing because both kinds of proxy respond to requests and receive responses. In addition, the most effective method to differentiate between reverse and forward proxy is to study the specifications of the application that you’re working on.

Reverse proxy is a useful tool when you’re developing a solution to serve web-based applications over the internet. They represent your web servers whenever you interact on the web.

Forward proxy is useful for showing clients to show for personal use or even in a workplace. They represent the client’s information every time you connect to the internet.

The practice of separating by use case instead of focussing on similar names will ensure that you aren’t confused.


This article will explain what a proxy is and compares the two major types that are reverse proxy and the forward proxy. Practical examples of use and a discussion of the most useful characteristics were used to define between reverse and forward proxies. If you’re interested in exploring the possibilities of proxies then check out our guide on how to set up Nginx as reverse proxy to Apache on one Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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