It’s a proxy, also called a proxy server. It is software that acts in the role of an intermediary client and server over the internet. Without the proxy, a user can send a request to an entity directly through a server and the server will provide an item directly to the client. While this is a simple method to comprehend and implement using proxies, it can bring advantages in terms better performance and privacy, security and many more. As an additional pass-through layer proxy is a security guardian of the internet between clients and servers.

The general set of server hardware and installed proxy software is commonly called proxy servers. This article will focus on proxies that are traditionally classified as software and in the context of web servers. This article will provide a detailed breakdown of the two types of proxies: forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each kind has its own specific usage instance, but they often get confused due to the same namesake convention.

This article will provide you with details about the types of proxies and the subtypes of them and how they function in the common configurations. In this article, you’ll be able identify scenarios where you could make use of a proxy, and choose the best solution from reverse proxy and forward proxy in any circumstance.

Understanding Forward Proxies

The forward proxy also known in the form of an open proxy is a representative for a client who wishes to send a request through the internet to a source server. In this scenario it is the scenario that all requests made by the client should be sent through an forward proxy. A forward proxy acting in on behalf of the user will examine the request. First, it must decide if the client is allowed to make requests through this specific forward proxy. Then it can either reject requests or redirect it back to the server originally. The client does not directly connect to the Internet. It only has access to the internet that forward proxy permits for it to reach.

A very common uses for forward proxies is to gain increased privacy or security on the internet. Forward proxy utilizes the internet as the client, and in this manner, it may utilize an alternate IP address in addition to the original IP address.

Depending on how it has been configured, based on how it is configured forward proxy could give you a variety of choices and permit you to:

Forward proxies also are used in systems that provide central security and access through permissions, such as in workplaces. When all internet traffic goes through a common forward proxy, a manager could grant only a small number of users connection to the web which is filtered by a common firewall. Instead of keeping firewalls to protect the client layer, which may include multiple devices that have different configurations and clients, the firewall can be placed in the layer which forwards proxy traffic.

Take note that forward proxies need to be manually setup for use while reverse proxies could go unnoticed by the client. Based on the type of IP address a customer is relayed to the server from which it originated via the forward proxy, privacy and anonymity could be granted or not be noticed.

There are many possibilities to consider when it comes to forward proxy choices:

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy serves as a representative for a web server that handles the incoming requests of clients on behalf of. This server can include a server, or multiple servers. It could also function in the role of an application server such as Gunicorn. In either scenario the request is received from a user via the web in general. In most cases, the request will go directly to the server, containing the information that the client requires of. Instead, a reverse proxy functions as an intermediary and is able to block it from directly interacting with the open internet.

From the viewpoint of the client, interacting with reverse proxy is not different from interacting with the Web server direct. It’s exactly the same, and the client doesn’t know the difference. The client requests the resource, and is then granted access, with no extra configuration needed from the client.

Reverse proxy providers provide features like:

Central security is a benefit of both reverse and forward proxy service, reverse proxies give this benefit to Web server layers, but not to the layer of clients. instead of maintaining firewalls on the layer of web servers that may contain several servers that have different configurations, the majority of firewall security is concentrated on the layer of reverse proxy. Furthermore, getting rid of the responsibility of communicating with firewalls and communicating with requests from clients away from web servers allows them to focus solely on serving resources.

In the case of multiple servers running in a reverse proxy, the reverse proxy also is responsible for directing which requests pass via which server. Multiple web servers might be hosting the same resources, offering different types of resources or a mix of both. They can use the HTTP protocol similar to traditional web servers but also incorporate application server protocols like FastCGI. You can create a reverse proxy to redirect clients to specific servers depending on the resource requested or to follow specific rules regarding traffic load.

Reverse proxies also gain from their placement prior to web servers, providing caching functionality. Large static files can be set up using caching rules to prevent having to call web servers for every request. Some options allowing you to directly serve static content without having to connect to the web server for any reason. In addition, the reverse proxy can handle compression of these assets.

The popular Nginx web server is also used as a well-known reverse proxy service. While Apache is also a reverse proxy service, the Apache web server also comes with an reverse proxy that adds a feature to Apache however Nginx was initially designed for and is focused exclusively on reverse proxy feature.

Differentiating Forward Proxy and reverse Proxy Use Examples

Because “forward” or “reverse” are both associated with the perception of directionality, and can lead to misleading comparisons with “incoming” in addition to “outgoing” traffic and vice versa, these labels are often confusing since both kinds of proxies handle requests and responses. Instead, a better way to distinguish between forward and reverse proxy is to look at the specifications of the application you’re creating.

Reverse proxy is a useful tool for the creation of an approach to offer web-based services via the internet. They serve as your web servers every time you use the internet.

Forward proxy apps are useful for displaying clients for personal use, or in a corporate setting. They serve as the proxy for your client for all communications via the internet.

Separating by use case instead of focusing on standard naming conventions makes it easier to avoid confusion.


This article will explain what a proxy is, along with the two types of proxy, which are the forward proxy as well as the reverse proxy. Practical applications as well as a brief overview of the benefits were used to differentiate between forward proxies from reverse proxies. If you’re interested in exploring the possibilities of proxies then read our guide on how to set up Nginx as an reverse proxy and internet server in Apache running an Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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