“proxy” is a term used to describe a server “proxy” is a reference to the notion of a proxy often known as proxy server software that functions to act as an intermediary for a client and server via the internet. Without the use of a proxy, users could send a request to an item directly to a server, and the server will serve an item directly for the client. While this approach is straightforward to grasp and implement, adding proxies offers advantages such as more performance, privacy and security, and so on. As a pass-through layer, the proxy serves as a shield to the internet between users and servers.

The general set of server hardware that is paired with the software used to install proxy is commonly referred to as proxy servers. This article will concentrate on proxy servers which are generally described as software and specifically in relation to servers for web. We will provide a brief overview of the two principal kinds of proxies, which is forward proxy and reverse proxy. forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each type comes with its own usage scenario, which is often misinterpreted due the common terms.

This article will give you an idea of nature of proxies, as well as their subtypes and ways that they can prove useful in a variety of configurations. If you go through this article, you’ll discover situations where using proxies can be beneficial and identify the best choice between forward proxy and reverse proxy in any given situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

Forward proxy is also referred to by the name of an open proxy serves as the client’s representative who is trying to transmit a request through the internet to an source server. In this situation, any request made by the user will instead be made through forward proxy. This forward proxy taking the place of the client will review the request. Then, it will determine whether the client is permitted to make requests through this specific forward proxy. It will then orally reject a request and transfer it on to the server that originated the request. The client is not able to connect directly to internet. It can only reach what the forward proxy permits for it to reach.

The most common reason for using forward proxy services is to increase privacy or security while using the internet. Forward proxy allows you to connect to the internet rather than a client, and in this process, it uses an IP address that is different from the IP address used by the client.

Depending on how it’s configured, and how it is configured forward proxy could offer a variety of features and allow you to:

Forward proxies can also be used to secure systems that are centralized and access based on permissions, like at work. If all internet traffic flows through a common forward proxy layer, an administrator can restrict access to just a small number of internet users and be filtered by the common firewall. Instead of establishing filters for client layers which can be used by a number of computers that have different environments and types of users it is possible to set up a firewall located at the front proxy layer.

Be aware that forward proxies need to be configured manually to be used, while reverse proxy servers can remain unnoticed by clients. Based on the fact that your IP address a user is relayed to the server of origin by the forward proxy privacy and anonymity may be granted or denied.

There are many alternatives to look into for forward proxy services.

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy serves as an agent for a server on the internet, which handles requests from customers on behalf of. The server could be one or more servers. Additionally, it could serve as an app server such as Gunicorn. In any case the request will be made via the internet in general. In most cases, the request is sent directly to the server hosting the information that the client requires of. A reverse proxy acts as an intermediary and isolates Web servers from any direct interaction with the internet’s public.

From the perspective of the client an individual’s viewpoint the procedure of using reverse proxy isn’t any different from interacting with the server by itself. It’s the exact same thing, however the client can’t discern the difference. Client makes a request for the resource and is then supplied with it, without additional configuration needed from the user.

Reverse proxies provide features like:

While central security is a benefit of both forward and reverse proxy servers, reverse proxies provide this feature to only the server layer, they do not offer this feature to clients. instead of the maintenance of firewalls on the server level which could contain several servers, each with different configurations, the majority of security for firewalls is concentrated at the reverse proxy level. Furthermore, taking the burden of interacting with firewalls and connecting to requests from clients away from web servers allows the firewall to focus on serving the requirements of their clients.

In the event that there’s multiple servers being hosted within a reverse proxy it is responsible for how requests are routed to which server. Many web servers may be providing the exact identical service, providing various kinds of resources or a combination of both. These servers may use their HTTP protocol to perform the role of a standard web server, however, they may also incorporate application server protocols such as FastCGI. You can also set up reverse proxy servers to redirect users to a specific server based on the resource requested or to follow specific rules regarding traffic load.

Reverse proxies may also profit by their positioning prior to web servers by offering the ability to cache. Large static assets can be configured by caching rules to ensure that web servers are not hit on every request. There are solutions that permit you to directly serve static assets without connecting to the web server in any way. In addition, the reverse proxy is able to compress these assets.

The well-known Nginx web server can also function as an effective reverse proxy option. While Apache can also be a reverse proxy solution, the Apache web server is outfitted with reverse proxy functionality that is an additional option that is accessible to Apache but Nginx was originally designed specifically for reverse proxy features.

The difference between Forward Proxy and Reverse Proxy Use Cases

Since “forward” as well as “reverse” have connotations of directionality, and false distinctions between “incoming” as well as “outgoing” traffic, these labels can be confusing as both types of proxies handle both requests as well as responses. An alternative method to distinguish between reverse and forward proxy is to study the requirements of the program you’re developing.

A reverse proxy is useful in the development of a method to connect web-based applications to the internet. They serve as your web servers when you interact using the internet.

Forward proxy are useful when used in front of customers for your personal use or in an environment that is professional. They are your client’s proxy when you are on the internet.

The ability to differentiate by the use of case instead of focusing solely on common naming conventions can assist you in avoiding confusion.


This article explains the meaning of a proxy with two types: the reverse proxy and forward proxy. Examples of how to use it and a brief overview of useful features were used to differentiate forward proxies from reverse proxies. If you’re keen to learn more about proxy servers, look over our guide on how to set up Nginx as reverse proxy with Apache on an Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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