The term “proxy” refers to the idea of a proxy often called proxy server software that serves in the role of intermediary between a client and server via the internet. Without proxy, a user can send a request for an online server, and the server will serve an item directly for the client. While this is a simple method to comprehend and implement, adding proxies offers advantages such as more performance as well as security and privacy and so on. As a layer of pass-through, the proxy serves as a shield to the internet between users and servers.

The general set of server hardware coupled with the software to install proxy servers is usually known as proxy servers. This article will concentrate on proxy servers that are typically considered to be software specifically in relation to web servers. We will present a summary of the two principal kinds of proxies: that is the reverse proxy as well as a forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each type has a different usage scenario, which is often misinterpreted due the similar terms.

This article will give you an understanding of nature of proxies, as well as their subtypes and ways they can be useful in a variety of configurations. If you go through this article, you’ll discover the circumstances in which the use of proxy servers is advantageous, and determine the most appropriate alternative between forward proxy and reverse proxy for any particular situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

Forward proxy is also known by the name of the open proxy serves as the client’s representative who is trying to relay a request through the internet to an source server. In this situation, any attempt to send a request from the user’s side will be handled by an forward proxy. Forward proxy in place of the client, will examine the request. It will then determine whether the client is permitted to send requests via this specific forward proxy. Then, it’ll decide whether to reject the request or send it back to its server that originated the request. The client is unable to establish a direct connection with the Internet. It can only connect to the internet that the forward proxy allows it to connect to.

The most popular reason to utilize forward proxy servers is to improve privacy or security while using the internet. A forward proxy can be used to access the internet rather than clients, and in this way, it utilizes a different IP address than the original IP address of the client.

Depending on how it’s configured, and how it’s configured, forward proxy may offer a range of functions that allow you to:

Forward proxies are also utilized to secure systems which are centralized and accessible is based on permissions, such as in a workplace. If all internet traffic is routed through a common forward proxy layer, an administrator can restrict access to just a small number of users to the internet and be filtered by an common firewall. Instead of setting up filters for client layers that can be utilized by a number of computers that have different environments and types of users you can establish a firewall located at the forward proxy layer.

Take note of the fact that forward proxies must be manually configured to be utilized, whereas reverse proxy servers can remain unnoticed by clients. Based on whether an IP address belonging to the user is relayed to an server of origin by the forward proxy, privacy and anonymity are granted or denied.

There are numerous alternatives to look into for forward proxies.

Understanding Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy acts to act as a proxy for web server, which processes requests from customers for its behalf. It could represent a single, or multiple servers. Also, it could serve as an app server such as Gunicorn. In any case it is possible to send a request via the internet in general. Typically, the request is sent directly to the server that hosts the resources the user is in need of. A reverse proxy acts as an intermediary and isolates this webserver from all direct interaction with the public internet.

From the perspective of the client an individual’s viewpoint the process of utilizing reverse proxy is not different than interacting with the server in its own way. It’s the same, but the client can’t see the difference. The client requests the resource, and is then provided with it, without additional configuration needed by the client.

Reverse proxies provide features like:

While centralized security is an advantage of both reverse and forward proxy servers. Reverse proxy providers offer this benefit only to the server layer and they do not offer this feature to clients. In lieu of the maintenance of firewalls at the server level that may contain several servers, each with different configurations, the majority of firewall security is concentrated on the reverse proxy layer. Additionally, removing the responsibility of communicating with firewalls and interacting with client requests away from web servers allows firewalls to focus on meeting the requirements of their clients.

If there are multiple servers hosted within a reverse proxy the reverse proxy is also accountable for the way requests are routed to which server. Multiple web servers could be providing the exact same service, offering different kinds of resources, or a combination of the two. They may employ the HTTP protocol to function as a web server in the traditional sense, however they can also use application server protocols such as FastCGI. You can also configure a reverse proxy to direct users to specific servers based on the resource requested or to follow certain guidelines for traffic load.

Reverse proxies can also benefit from their position prior to web servers by offering the ability to cache. Large static assets can be set by caching rules to ensure that web servers are not hit each time you request. There are solutions that permit you to directly serve static files without having to connect to the web server in any way. In addition, the reverse proxy is capable of compressing these assets.

The well-known Nginx web server can also function as a reliable reverse proxy option. Although Apache is also a reverse proxy service, the Apache web server comes equipped with a reverse proxy feature which is an additional feature available to Apache however Nginx was originally designed specifically for reverse proxy features.

The distinction is between Forward Proxy and Reverse Proxy Use Situations

Since “forward” and “reverse” have connotations of directionality as well as misleading comparisons to “incoming” as well as “outgoing” traffic The labels can be confusing as both types of proxies deal with both requests as well as responses. An alternative method to distinguish between reverse and forward proxy is to analyze the requirements of the program that you’re creating.

Reverse proxy can be useful when you are developing a method to connect web-based applications on the internet. They are your web servers when you interact using the internet.

Forward proxy can be beneficial when they are used before customers for your personal use or in an office setting. They serve as the proxy for your client when you interact with the internet.

Distinguishing by use case instead of focusing on naming conventions that are commonplace can help you avoid confusion.


This article describes the meaning of a proxy with two kinds: forward proxy and the reverse proxy. Practical examples of use and a review of the beneficial features were used to differentiate forward proxies from reverse proxies. If you’re interested to learn more about the use of proxy servers, read our guide on how to configure Nginx as reverse proxy with Apache on an Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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