It is an proxy is also referred to proxy server software that acts as a mediator between server and a client on the internet. Without proxy, a user would make a request a resource directly to a server, and it would serve the requested resource directly to the user. Although this method is easy to comprehend and implement, using proxies provides benefits in terms of better performance and privacy, security and much more. As an additional layer for moving through, a proxy serves as a security guard for the internet between clients and servers.

The majority of people agree it is the case that the mix of servers hardware and installed proxy software is frequently referred too as proxy servers. For this post, we’ll focus on proxies typically described in terms of software as and those used to work in conjunction to web server. This article will give a detailed breakdown of two kinds of proxies such as a forward proxy and one called a reverse proxy. Each type is unique in its use and is often misunderstood due to the identical namesake convention.

This article will give you an understanding of what proxy services are, and they are subtypes of, as well as the ways they can be useful for the most common setups. Through this article you’ll learn to identify the circumstances that a proxy could be advantageous, and choose the most appropriate forward proxy or reverse proxy for a particular scenario.

Understanding Forward Proxies

The forward proxy also referred to as the open proxy is a representative of a client who is trying to route a request through the internet to an the server that originated it. In this case, it’s the scenario that all requests made by the client are sent to through the forward proxy. In this situation the forward proxy, in place of the client will examine the request. It will first decides if the client is permitted to forward requests through this particular forward proxy. It will then decide whether to refuse this request and send it back to its source server. It’s not able connect directly with the web. It can only access what the forward proxy permits the forward proxy to connect.

The most common use for forward proxy is to achieve more privacy or security online. A forward proxy uses the internet as a separate client. In this process, it can make use of a different IP address opposition to the IP address of the client.

Depending on how they were configured in the past, forward proxy servers can provide a range of options. They allow you to:

Forward proxies are also employed in systems to provide central security as well as permission-based access, for example, at work. If all internet traffic passes via an open forward proxy,, an administrator is able to grant only a handful of users connection to internet, which is then filtered by a firewall that is common to all. Instead of maintaining firewalls on the layer of clients which could include multiple computers that are different in terms of user and environment the firewall can be placed at the layer which is responsible for forwarding proxy data.

Keep in mind that forward proxy servers have to be set up manually prior to be used, while reverse proxies are often not recognized by clients. Depending on whether the IP address of the client is sent to the origin server through the forward proxy Privacy and anonymity may be made transparent.

There are a myriad of choices to think about for forward proxies:

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy acts as a representative of a web server which handles incoming requests from customers on behalf of. The web server could represent one or more servers. Additionally, it could be an application server, like Gunicorn. Any of the above cases, a request could come in via a user on the internet at large. In most cases the request will be directed directly to the server along with the data the user wants. Reverse proxy, however, serves as an intermediary to isolate your website server from any interaction with the open internet.

From a user’s point of view from the perspective of a customer using a reverse proxy is not different from communicating with the webserver in direct communication. It’s the same thing, and the client can’t tell the difference. Client requests a resource, that is then followed by receiving it, without any extra configuration required by the user.

Reverse proxy proxies may offer options, such as:

While central security is an advantage of both reverse and forward proxy solutions, reverse proxy providers provide this benefit to only the server layer, not to the client layer. Instead of the need to maintain firewalls at the web server layer which can contain several servers that have different configurations, the bulk of firewall security resides on the reverse proxy layer. Furthermore, removing the obligation of interacting with firewalls and responding to requests from clients that are not connected to web servers allows the firewall to concentrate on serving the requirements of their clients.

If there are multiple servers connected to a reverse proxy the reverse proxy will also take care of how requests are routed to which server. Multiple web servers could be operating on the same server and serving different types of resources, or a mix of the two. They can be using the HTTP protocol in the same way as a traditional web server. They may also include applications server protocols like FastCGI. It is possible to set up reverse proxy servers to send clients to specific servers according to the kind of resource they’re seeking, or to follow certain rules to manage traffic load.

Reverse proxies can also benefit by their position ahead of web servers through the ability to cache. Large static assets can be configured with caching policies to avoid the web server from being hit on every request, with certain services offering the possibility to serve static files directly without connecting with the server for even one time. Additionally, reverse proxy could be able to handle compression of these assets.

The popular Nginx web server is an acknowledged reverse proxy service. You can also use Nginx, the Apache web server is also equipped with a reverse proxy features however it’s an additional option that’s available to Apache and Nginx was initially developed for and focused on reverse proxy functions.

Distinguishing Forward and Reverse Proxy Use Differentiating Forward Proxy and Reverse Use

Since “forward” as well as “reverse” come with connotations of directionality and false comparisons to “incoming” in addition to “outgoing” traffic These labels can be confusing as both types of proxies are able to handle requests as well as responses. A better approach to distinguish between reverse and forward proxies is to examine the requirements of the app you’re creating.

A reverse proxy can be beneficial in the development of a system to deliver web-based applications over the internet. They act as your servers whenever you connect to the internet.

Forward proxy are helpful when you are before a client for your personal use, or in the workplace. They can be used to represent the traffic of your clients when you interact with the internet.

A distinction that is based on the use case instead of focusing solely at similar names will assist you in avoiding confusion.


This article provides the definition of a proxy that includes two main kinds that are forward proxy and reverse proxy. Practical scenarios for application and a look at useful features were utilized to distinguish forward proxies and reverse proxies. If you’re interested in learning more about the possibilities of proxies then take a look at our guide on how to set up Nginx as a reverse proxy and web server proxy on Apache on one Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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