It’s proxy, also known as a proxy or proxy server. It is a software which acts as an intermediary between a server and a client over the internet. Without the proxy, a client can send a request to the server directly and the server would provide the requested resource directly to the user. While this is a simple method to understand and implement with proxies, it can bring advantages in terms better performance as well as privacy, security and many more. In addition, a pass-through proxy, it acts as a security guardian for the internet between clients and servers.

In general, the set of server hardware and the software that is installed for proxy servers is frequently called proxy servers. This article will focus on proxy servers which are usually described as software and also within the context of web servers. This article will present a detailed breakdown of the two primary types: a forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each type has its own usage case, but they are often confused due to the same name-based convention.

This article will provide you with information about what proxies are and what their subtypes are and how they operate in the common configurations. In this article you will be able to identify the scenarios where you could benefit from a proxy and select the right solution between forward proxy and reverse proxy in any circumstance.

Understanding Forward Proxies

The forward proxy, also referred to by its name of an open proxy serves as a representative for a client who wishes to transmit a request over the internet to an original server. In this situation, it’s the situation that all requests sent by the user would prefer to be directed via the forward proxy. A forward proxy acting in the place of the client will scrutinize the request. The first step is to decide if the client is permitted to make requests through this particular forward proxy. Then it can either reject the request or forward it to the original server. The client does not have direct access to the internet. It can only reach what forward proxy permits for it to reach.

One of the most popular applications of forward proxies is to gain increased privacy or security on the internet. Forward proxy utilizes the internet as a client, and in this manner, it may make use of an alternative IP address in addition to the original IP address.

Depending on how it’s been configured and the configuration, forward proxy may provide you with a range of options and allow you to:

Forward proxies also are used in systems that offer central security and access through permissions, like in a workplace. When all internet traffic passes through a common forward proxy, an administrator could grant only a small number of users connection to the web, which is filtered by a standard firewall. Instead of keeping firewalls in place for the client layer which may include multiple devices with different configurations and users the firewall could be put on the layer which forwards proxy traffic.

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

There are a myriad of options to explore to find forward proxy alternatives

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy acts as a proxy for web servers, which handles any requests that come in from clients for. This web server may comprise a singular server, or multiple servers. Furthermore, it could serve as an application server, such as Gunicorn. In either scenario the request will be received from a user via the web at large. Most of the time the request will go directly to the web server along with the information the client needs of. Reverse proxy, however, serves as an intermediary, and separates it from direct interaction with the internet’s open.

From the viewpoint of the client the experience of interacting with reverse proxy is not different than interacting with a website server in direct contact. It’s the same thing and the client is unable to tell the distinction. The client makes a request for this resource and it then gets it with no additional configuration needed from the client.

Reverse proxy providers provide features like:

Central security is a benefit of both reverse and forward proxy services, reverse proxy providers provide this benefit only 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 with various configurations, the bulk of firewall security is centered on that layer called reverse proxy. Additionally to removing the responsibility of communicating with firewalls as well as communicating requests from clients away from web servers lets them concentrate solely on providing resources.

If there are multiple servers running through a reverse proxy, the reverse proxy is also responsible to control which requests are routed through which server. Multiple web servers could be hosting the same resources, offering different kinds of resources, or a combination of both. They can use the HTTP protocol similarly to traditional web servers but they could also incorporate application server protocols like FastCGI. It is possible to set up reverse proxy services that redirects clients to particular servers in accordance with the resource requested, or to adhere to certain rules for traffic load.

Reverse proxies may also profit from their placement in front of web servers, providing caching functions. Massive static images can be arranged by caching rules, avoiding having to call web servers every time you request. There are even solutions offering an option to serve static assets directly without having to connect to the web server for any reason. Additionally, reverse proxy is able to handle compression of these assets.

The popular Nginx web server also functions as a very popular reverse proxy service. Although Apache has a reverse proxy service it is not the only reverse proxy solution. Apache web server is also equipped with a reverse proxy which adds a feature to Apache However, Nginx was initially designed for and focuses specifically on its reverse proxy feature.

Differentiating Forward Proxy from Reverse Proxy Use Examples

Since “forward” and “reverse” are 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 because both types of proxy respond to requests and other responses. A better approach to differentiate between reverse and forward proxy services is to study the specifications of the application you’re creating.

Reverse proxy is a useful tool to develop an option to provide web-based services via the internet. They serve as your web servers when you connect to the internet.

Forward proxy software is useful to show clients’ personal use, and even in a corporate setting. They act as your client’s proxy for all communications online.

The practice of segregating by use case, instead of using standard naming conventions makes it simpler to avoid confusion.


This article describes the definition of a proxy along with the two types of proxy, namely the forward proxy and the reverse proxy. Practical applications as well as a brief overview of the benefits were utilized to differentiate forward proxies and reverse proxies. If you’d like to explore the possibilities of proxies, then take a look at our tutorial on how to set up Nginx as an internet server and reverse proxy in Apache on Ubuntu 20.04. Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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