It’s an proxy or proxy server. It is a server software program which serves as an intermediary between a clients and servers on the internet. With no intermediaries, the user could make a request for or resource to the server directly and the server would serve direct the resource requested to the customer. While this process is simple to understand and implement using proxy servers, it does offer advantages such as more performance and privacy, security and much more. As a pass-through layer the proxy functions as a security protector of the internet between servers and clients.

In general, the combination of server hardware as well as software for proxy installation is commonly referred to by the name proxy servers. In this article, we’ll concentrate on proxies that are typically thought of as software, and those that are used in conjunction with web servers. We will provide a description of the two main types of proxies, a forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each kind has its own unique application scenario, which is often misunderstood due the similar naming convention.

This article will give you an understanding of what proxies and their subtypes are, and also what they can do for common setups. In this article, you will be able to identify the scenarios where an effective proxy is useful, and select the right solution between reverse and forward proxy options for each scenario.

Understanding Forward Proxies

In other words forward proxy, also known as an open proxy is a representative of the client that is trying to send a request via the internet to the server from which it originated. In this case, the entire attempt to send requests by the client will be handled by the forward proxy. In this situation, the forward proxy acting in instead of the user will examine the request. The first step is to establish whether the client is authorized to make requests via this particular forward proxy. It then will reject the request, and then send it back to the original server. The client isn’t able to have direct connection to the internet; it can only reach what the forward proxy allows it access to.

The most frequent reasons for forward proxy is to provide greater privacy or security online. A forward proxy is able to access the internet in place of a client and could use an alternate IP address that is different from the IP address that was originally assigned to the client.

Depending on how they were set up in the past, forward proxy servers can perform a variety of tasks and let you:

Forward proxies can also be used in security systems that require centralized and have permission-based access for instance, in a workplace. If all internet traffic flows through an open forward proxy layer, an administrator is able to restrict access to certain people to connect on the internet, which is blocked by a standard firewall. Instead of having firewalls installed to protect the client layer which could comprise a range of computers with different user and environmental settings the firewall could be placed at an forward proxy layer.

Take note of the fact that forward proxies have to be manually configured for use, but reverse proxies are not noticed by the client. Based on the fact that the IP address of a customer is sent to the source server via this forward proxy, security and anonymity could be granted or left unnoticed.

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

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy acts as an agent on behalf of web servers, which handles any requests that are received by clients on its behalf. The web server could comprise one server or multiple servers. It may also act for application servers, such as Gunicorn. In any of these scenarios, a request could come from a customer through the internet in general. The majority of the time the request will be sent direct to the website that hosts the resources the client needs. Reverse proxy is an intermediary that separates Web servers and direct communication with the open internet.

From a client’s viewpoint, which is a user’s viewpoint connecting to reverse proxy isn’t that different from connecting directly to your website server. It’s the same thing but the client can’t be able to tell the distinction. The customer makes a request for an item and receives it without any additional configuration that needs to be completed by the client.

Reverse proxy proxies may offer options, such as:

While central security is a benefit of both reverse and forward proxy solutions, reverse proxies give this benefit to the layer of the internet server and not to that layer of the internet server, which is called client. In lieu of maintaining firewalls in the layer of web servers, which might contain several servers with various configurations, the bulk of firewall security can be targeted at this layer. Furthermore, removing the obligation of interfacing with a firewall as well as responding to the requests of clients from web servers enables them to concentrate solely on meeting the needs of their customers.

If multiple servers are using a reverse proxy, the reverse proxy also determines how requests are routed on which server. There are many web servers providing the same content however, they each serve different kinds of content or a mixture of the two. These servers may use the HTTP protocol similar to a traditional web server, but they may include applications server protocols such as FastCGI. It is also possible to set up reverse proxy servers to redirect the clients towards specific servers in accordance with the requested resource or to follow specific rules regarding traffic load.

Reverse proxies can also make use of their position in front of web servers by providing caching capabilities. Large static files can be configured with caching rules to stop the server from getting hit with every request Certain solutions offer the option to provide static files directly, without involving the web server at all. Additionally, the reverse proxy could handle the compressing these assets.

The well-known Nginx webserver is an extremely popular reverse proxy option. However, the Apache webserver is also equipped with reverse proxy functionality and is an alternative option for Apache and is in contrast to Nginx was designed initially for and specifically focused on reverse proxy capabilities.

Differentiating Forward Proxy and Reverse Proxy Use Situations

Since “forward” in addition to “reverse” are both associated with an impression of directionality and false comparisons with “incoming” and “outgoing” traffic. These labels can confuse because both types of proxies manage both responses and requests. The best way to differentiate between forward and reverse proxy is to take into account the needs of the app you’re creating.

A reverse proxy is useful in the design of an application that is able to serve web-based applications via the internet. They act as your servers in all interactions on the internet.

Forward proxy can be useful when used in front of client traffic for your personal use or in a workplace environment. They are a representation of your traffic whenever you interact on the internet.

Differentiating by case of use rather than focusing solely on common naming conventions will help you in avoiding confusion.


This article will explain what a proxy is, with the two main types, namely the forward proxy and reverse proxy. Practical application scenarios and a review of the most useful attributes were used to define forward proxies and reverse proxies. If you’re interested in knowing more about the process of implementing proxy servers, check out our tutorial on how you can set up Nginx as an internet server and reverse proxy on Apache running on one Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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