The word “proxy” is a reference to a proxy also referred to a proxy server, a software which serves to act as an intermediary for a client and server over the internet. Without proxy, a user would make a request resources straight to servers, while the server will provide the requested resource directly to the user. Although this method is easy to understand and use, using proxies has benefits like improved performance and privacy, security and much more. As an additional pass-through layer the proxy acts as a security safeguard for the internet between servers and clients.

Generally speaking, the bundled system of server hardware coupled with installed proxy software is also often referred too as a proxy server. This article will focus on proxies typically considered as software, and specifically in relation to servers on the internet. The article will offer a description of the two major kinds that are available, including a forward proxy and the other a reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each type has its own application, and is often confused because of the similar terminology.

This article will provide the information on the different types of proxies, what their subtypes are and the way they work in a variety of configurations. Through this guide, you’ll be able to recognize the situations where it is beneficial to use a proxy and choose the correct solution between forward proxy and reverse proxy in any circumstance.

Understanding Forward Proxies

A forward proxy, also referred to an open proxy is a means of intermediary for clients trying to make a request via the internet to connect to a source server. In this situation the entire effort to send requests by the user is transmitted through the forward proxy. This forward proxy acting as a substitute of the client, will examine into the request. In the beginning, it will decide whether this client can accept requests from this specific forward proxy. Then, it will either reject requests or redirect them to the original server. The client isn’t capable of having an internet connection directly. It has access to only what the forward proxy permits the client to connect.

One of the most frequent uses for forward proxy is to achieve more privacy or security on the internet. A forward proxy accesses the internet as the client and it could use a different IP address to that of the initial IP address of the client.

Depending on how it has been configured in accordance with the way it was configured forward proxy can offer a range of features and permit you to:

Forward proxies also are used in systems that rely on central security and permission-based access like in a workplace. When all internet traffic passes through an open forward proxy layer administrators are able to grant access to only a few people to connect on the internet. This is then filtered by a standard firewall. Instead of creating firewalls on the layer of clients that could be used by multiple computers that have different configurations, users and environments, a firewall may be set up at the proxy layer.

It is crucial to keep in mind that forward proxy servers must be configured manually and reverse proxies can not be noticed by the user. Depending on the type the IP address that a user is sent to the server where it originated via the forward proxy, privacy and anonymity may be granted or not.

There are several possibilities to look into for forward proxy possibilities:

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy acts as an intermediary for a web server that handles any requests that come in from customers on its behalf. The web server could function as a single server or a number of servers. It could also serve as an application server, such as Gunicorn. In any event it is possible to send a request via the internet at large. Most often, the request will go directly to the server, containing the information that the user wants. The reverse proxy acts as an intermediary, protecting the web server from direct communication to the open internet.

From the consumer’s point view the experience of interacting using reverse proxy isn’t much different than using the server on its own. It’s exactly the same thing, however the client can’t tell the distinction. The client can request the resource, and receive it, with no additional configuration needed on the part of the client.

Reverse proxy providers can provide options like:

While centralized security is an advantage of both reverse and forward proxy services, reverse proxy providers this service for the Web server layer but not the client layer. instead of the maintenance of firewalls on Web server layers, which could comprise multiple servers with different configurations, the bulk of the firewall security could be concentrated at the reverse proxy layer. In addition, removing the hassle of dealing with firewalls and responding to requests from customers outside of web servers allows them to focus on delivering the needs of their clients.

If there are multiple servers operating through a reverse proxy the reverse proxy manages the requests to which server. There may be several web servers offering the same service, all offering different types of resource or a mix of both. These servers could be running the HTTP protocol as a conventional web server. But, they may also include application server protocols like FastCGI. It is possible to configure a reverse proxy to direct users to a specific server based on the service requested or to follow certain rules regarding traffic load.

Reverse proxies also have the ability to gain advantage from their position ahead of web servers, offering the capability to store information. Massive static resources can be managed using caching rules, so that they prevent Web servers from getting hit every time a request is made. Certain software solutions let you upload static files directly, without connecting to the web server in any way. In addition the reverse proxy may manage the compression of these files.

The popular Nginx web server is also a reliable reverse proxy service. You can also use the Apache web server with reverse proxy capabilities but it’s an additional option to Apache and Nginx was originally designed for and is focused specifically on reverse proxy features.

The distinction between the use of reverse and forward proxy Examples

Because “forward” or “reverse” are associated with directionality, as well as false connections with “incoming” and “outgoing” traffic, the labels could be confusing because both types of proxies are capable of handling requests as well as responses. An alternative method to differentiate between reverse and forward proxies is to examine the specifications of the application you’re developing.

A reverse proxy is useful when building an application to run web-based applications via the internet. They are your web servers for all interactions on the internet.

Forward proxy can be beneficial when placed in front of customers for your own use or within an organization. They are a representation of the customer’s data whenever you interact on the internet.

Distinguishing by use case instead of focusing on common names can aid you in avoiding confusion.


The article explained the meaning of a proxy that has two types: forward proxy and reverse proxy. Examples of practical use along with an examination of beneficial features were used to define the two types of proxies: forward and reverse. If you’re keen to know more about the possibilities of proxies, we recommend you read our guide on how you can set up Nginx for use as a web server and reverse proxy on Apache on an Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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