The term “proxy” refers to a proxy is also known as proxy server software that acts to act as an intermediary between client and server on the internet. Without a middleman the user would an inquiry directly to the server and the server would serve the requested resource directly for the client. Although this is a simple process to comprehend and implement the addition of proxies can bring benefits including increased performance, privacy and security, and many other. Apart from adding a layer of security proxy servers also serve as a security guardian of the internet between users and servers.

The bundled package of server hardware with installed proxy software is commonly referred to by the name proxy servers. But, this article will concentrate on proxy servers that are traditionally referred to as software, but also within the context of web servers. This article will give a synopsis of the two principal types: one being a forward proxy and the other being a reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each type has a distinct usage, which can be confusing due to the similar name-based convention.

This article will equip you with the knowledge of the types of proxy services available and their subtypes, and the ways that they can be helpful for common setups. In this article, you’ll able to discern the scenarios where you could benefit from a proxy and choose the right solution between forward and reverse proxy, in any circumstance.

Understanding Forward Proxies

Forward proxy, also known as an open proxy, acts as the agent of a client who wishes to send requests over the internet to an the server that created it. In this case, it’s the scenario that all requests made by the client are instead forwarded directly through the forward proxy. The forward proxy, acting on behalf on behalf of client look at the request. In the beginning, it will determine whether the client is authorized to make requests via this specific forward proxy. Then, it will either refuse requests or redirect it to the origin server. The client will not be allowed direct access to the internet. it is only capable of accessing the information that the forward proxy enables it to connect to.

One popular reason to use forward proxy is the need for more privacy or security on the internet. Forward proxy can access the internet using the client, and in this process, it uses an additional IP address as opposed to your client’s IP address.

Depending on how it has been set up, and the configuration, forward proxy may offer a range of functions and the capability to:

Forward proxies can also be employed in systems that provide central security and access based on permissions, for example, in a workplace. In the event that all internet traffic goes by an open forward proxy a administrator may limit access to specific users to the internet via the common firewall. Instead of maintaining firewalls for the client layer which could comprise multiple computers that have different configurations and user the firewall can be installed at the forward proxy layer.

Keep in mind that forward proxy servers must be manually configured to use, whereas reverse proxies can not be noticed by the user. Based on the type of IP address a client is transferred to the origin server via the forward proxy privacy and anonymity may be granted or left transparent.

There are many possibilities to look into for forward proxy services:

Understanding Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy serves acting as an intermediary for the server on the internet and handles the incoming requests of clients. The web server can serve as a single server, or multiple servers. It could also serve as an application server such as Gunicorn. In any of these scenarios the request will come from a user who is on the internet at large. Most of the time, the request would be sent directly to the web server that holds all the resources the client seeking. In contrast, a reverse proxy serves as an intermediary that shields the webserver from direct interactions with the open internet.

From the perspective of the user’s viewpoint reverse proxy’s process reverse proxy isn’t any different than working with the Web server itself. It’s functionally the same however the client cannot discern the difference. The client makes a request for an item, and it is followed by receiving it with no further configuration needed by the client.

Reverse proxy proxies are able to provide options, such as:

While centralized security is a benefit of both forward and reverse proxy services, reverse proxy providers provide this benefit only to Web server layers, not to the client layer. Instead of maintaining firewalls at Web server layers, which can include multiple servers with different configurations, the majority of the firewall security is aimed at the reverse proxy layer. In addition, getting rid of the necessity to interface with a firewall and interfacing with requests from clients off of web servers allows them to focus on providing resources.

If there are multiple servers operating behind a reverse proxy, it also manages how requests are routed to which server. Many web servers may be providing the exact same service, each serving various kinds of resources or a combination of both. These servers could use their HTTP protocol to perform the role of a standard web server, however, they may also use applications server protocols such as FastCGI. You can create reverse proxy services to redirect users to specific servers based on the resource requested, or to observe specific rules regarding traffic load.

Reverse proxies also benefit from their placement before web servers due to the power of caching. The large static files can be set up using caching rules in order that they don’t have to communicate with web servers each time they request. There are solutions that offer the option of directly serving static assets without having to connect to a web server at all. In addition, the reverse proxy could handle the compressing these assets.

The popular Nginx web server can be described as an effective reverse proxy option. While you can use it, the Apache web server, it also has a reverse proxy as an additional feature of Apache in contrast to Nginx was designed initially for and is focused on the reverse proxy function.

The difference between Forward Proxy and Reverse Proxy Use. Differentiating Forward and Reverse Proxy Use

Because “forward” as well as “reverse” have connotations of directionality, as well as false comparisons to “incoming” as well as “outgoing” traffic, the labels can be confusing because both kinds of proxy services are capable of handling requests as well as responses. The best way to differentiate between reverse and forward proxy services is to look at the needs of the application you’re developing.

A reverse proxy is useful in the development of solutions to run web-based applications via the internet. They serve as your web servers for any interaction online.

Forward proxy applications can be useful when they are they are used to block client traffic for your personal use, or in a workplace setting. They are a representation of your client’s traffic for any interaction on the internet.

A case-based distinction instead of focusing on the similar naming conventions will make it easier to avoid confusion.


This article clarified the definition of a proxy, with the two primary kinds of them that are the forward and reverse proxy. Practical applications and a glance at beneficial characteristics were used in defining forward proxy and reverse proxies. If you’re interested in learning more about how proxies are implemented, look into our tutorial on how to set up Nginx to act as an Internet server, and reverse proxy on Apache on one Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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