The term “proxy” is a reference to proxy servers. A proxy or proxy server. It is an application that acts as a mediator between client and server over the internet. Without the use of a proxy, a user could send a request to the resource directly to a server, and then the server will provide the requested resource directly to the user. Although this method is easy to understand and implement with proxy servers, it does offer advantages in terms of enhanced performance and privacy, security and more. In addition, a pass-through, a proxy acts as a security guardian for the internet between servers and clients.

The mixture of the server’s hardware and installed proxy software is generally referred to as proxy servers. This article will concentrate on proxy servers that are typically described as software as in the context of web servers. The article will offer a description of the two types: namely a forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each kind has its own unique usage scenario, which is often confused due to the similar namesake convention.

This article will provide the understanding of what subtypes and proxies are and what they can do in the common configurations. After reading this article, you’ll be able to determine the instances where the use of proxy servers is beneficial, and choose the best option between forward proxy and reverse proxy depending on the situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

Forward proxy, also known as an open proxy is an agent for the user seeking to make an internet request to an source server. In this instance, the entire attempt to send requests made by the client is instead directed via the forward proxy. The forward proxy, acting on behalf of the client will examine the request. It first decides if the client is authorized to submit requests through this specific forward proxy. It will then reject requests or redirect it to the original server. The client does not have an internet connection directly. It is able to access only what forward proxy enables it to access.

The primary reason for people to utilize forward proxy is the need to increase security or privacy on the internet. Forward proxy connects to the internet instead of the client. In this process, it uses an IP address that is distinct from the IP address that the user is using.

Based on the way it has been configured, the forward proxy will provide many functions, based on how it is configured that permits you to:

Forward proxies can also be used in systems that provide central security and access that is based on permissions, for instance, in workplaces. If all internet traffic flows through an open forward proxy, the administrator can limit access to a limited number of users to the internet. This is blocked by the standard firewall. Instead of creating firewalls for this layer of clients that can comprise multiple computers with different settings and users the firewall could be installed at the layer that forwards proxy data.

Be aware that forward proxy servers require manual configuration to be used, while reverse proxies could be overlooked in the eyes of the user. Based on the type of IP address the user’s IP address, the server from which it originated through the forward proxy, privacy and anonymity may be granted or kept in the dark.

There are numerous possibilities to consider in the case of forward proxy alternatives:

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy is the agent of a server on the internet that handles requests from customers for. The web server could be a single server or a number of servers. It may also act for application servers, for instance Gunicorn. In any case the request will come via the internet, generally. In the majority of cases, your request is made directly to the server hosting the content that the user is seeking. Reverse proxy acts as an intermediary, separating this webserver from direct interactions with the internet’s open.

From the perspective of a user, the experience of interacting with reverse proxy isn’t any different than interacting with your webserver directly. It’s essentially the same but the client can’t recognize the difference. A client submits a request for an item, and then receives it without any further configuration required for the customer.

Reverse proxy providers provide features like:

Although central security is a benefit of both reverse and forward proxy servers. Reverse proxies offer this benefit to only the server layer, and not the client layer. Instead of having to maintain firewalls that are on the web server layer that may contain multiple servers with different configurations, the bulk of firewall security is concentrated at the layer of reverse proxy. In addition, the ease of interacting with firewalls and dealing with requests from customers who don’t have web servers lets them concentrate on providing the needs of their clients.

If there are multiple servers operating as a reverse proxy, the reverse proxy is also accountable for directing which requests are directed to which servers. There could be several web servers offering the same service, but each providing different types of resources or a combination of both. They may use an HTTP protocol to function as a standard web server, however they may also be equipped with protocols for application servers like FastCGI. It is possible to configure reverse proxy services to redirect users to specific servers based on the request for resource, or adhere to specific guidelines for the load of traffic.

Reverse proxies also benefit from their position above web servers by offering the capability to store data. Massive static resources can be configured using caching rules to prevent hitting web servers with every request. Certain solutions allow users to upload static files directly, without having to connect to a servers in any manner. Furthermore, reverse proxy is able to compress these files.

The popular Nginx web server is also used as an extremely popular reverse proxy service. While Apache has a reverse proxy option but the Apache web server comes with reverse proxy feature as an added option for Apache however Nginx was initially designed for and focuses exclusively on its reverse proxy function.

Differentiating Between Forward and Reverse Proxy Examples

Since “forward” and “reverse” are associated with the notion of directionality and false comparisons to “incoming” as well as “outgoing” traffic can be confusing as both types of proxies deal with both responses and requests. A better approach to distinguish between reverse and forward proxy is to look at the requirements of the app you’re creating.

A reverse proxy can be useful in the development of a system to deliver web-based applications on the internet. They serve as your web servers whenever you use the web.

Forward proxy can be beneficial when it is put before clients for personal use or in a work setting. They are a representation of the traffic of your client when you interact with the internet.

A case-based approach to differentiation instead of using commonly used naming conventions can assist in eliminating confusion.


This article clarified the meaning of a proxy by comparing the two types of proxy: the forward proxy as well as the reverse one. Examples of practical use and a discussion of the most effective features were employed to distinguish between reverse and forward proxies. If you’re interested in learning more about the advantages of proxy servers, read our tutorial on how to configure Nginx as an internet server and reverse proxy to Apache on an Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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