It is an proxy commonly referred to as proxy server software that sits as an intermediary between the client and server on the internet. Without proxy servers, users will send a request for resource directly to the server and it would deliver the requested resource directly to the user. This is not difficult to comprehend and apply the proxy feature can provide benefits such as greater performance and privacy, security and many more. As a further layer of security, proxies act as a gatekeeper on the internet between clients and servers.

The general entire set of hardware used by servers and the software for proxy installation is commonly referred to by the name proxy servers. This article will focus on proxies traditionally understood as software, and also in relation to web servers. This article will give an explanation of the two types of proxies, which comprise a forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each has a distinct use case, often confused due to the similar naming convention.

This article will provide you with an overview of nature of proxies and subtypes, and how they work in typical setups. In this article, you’ll learn how to identify the circumstances where using proxies can be advantageous, and choose the right option, based on reverse and forward proxy, depending on the situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

In another way a forward proxy, also called an open proxy serves as the representative of a client who wishes to forward requests through on the web to an original server. In this situation any attempts to send requests made by the client are instead transferred to the forward proxy. In this situation, the forward proxy in place in the place of the customer will review the request. First, it must check if the client is authorized to receive requests from this specific forward proxy. It can then decide whether to deny any request or forward it to the original server. The client does not have an internet connection directly It can only connect to the internet that forward proxy allows the client to access.

The most popular reason to utilize forward proxy servers is to gain greater privacy or security online. A forward proxy uses the internet instead of a client and in that process it could use an alternative IP address that is different from the client’s initial IP address.

Depending on how it’s configured, and based on the way it’s configured forward proxy could provide various features as well as the ability to:

Forward proxies can also be used in systems that provide centralized security and access that is based on permissions such as at work. If all internet traffic is routed via an open forward proxy administrators can grant access only to specific users who are filtered by an ordinary firewall. Instead of having firewalls for the client layer which may contain various devices with different settings and users and environments, a firewall may be added to this forward proxy layer.

Note that forward proxy server have to be manually configured for use before they can be used, while reverse proxy servers can be ignored by clients. Depending on whether the IP address of the client is transferred to the origin server via the forward proxy, privacy and anonymity could be provided or rendered clear.

There are a myriad of options to explore options for forward proxy options

Understanding Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy acts as an agent for web servers, taking care of incoming requests from customers on behalf. The web server could comprise a single server, or even multiple servers. Additionally, it can be used for application servers like Gunicorn. In both cases, a request could be made by a client via the internet at large. Normally, this request is sent directly to the website server which has the resources that the customer is in need of. In contrast, a reverse proxy acts as an intermediary that isolates your web server from interactions with the open internet.

From the perspective of a user, the experience when using reverse proxy is not different from communicating directly with your webserver. It’s functionally identical and users cannot tell the distinction. Client requests a resource and then receives it, without any additional configuration required by the client.

Reverse proxies provide options like:

While central security can be a benefit of both forward and reverse proxy, the reverse one providers this service only to the server layer and not to the layer that clients use. instead of maintaining firewalls for the web server layer that could include multiple servers that have different configurations, the majority of firewall security can be concentrated in the reverse proxy layer. In addition eliminating the hassle of connecting to firewalls and communicating with clients’ requests away from web servers allows them to focus solely on addressing the needs of their customers.

If there are multiple servers that are connected to a reverse proxy the reverse proxy also is responsible to control which requests are placed to which server. There may be several web servers providing the exact same service, serving different types of resources or a mixture of both. They can utilize the HTTP protocol just like a standard web server, but can also be equipped with protocols for application servers such as FastCGI. A reverse proxy can be used to direct clients to specific servers based on the type of resource they’re seeking, or to follow specific rules regarding traffic volume.

Reverse proxies may benefit from their location in front of web servers by offering the possibility of storing information. Large static files can be configured using caching policies to stop the web server from being hit with every request. Some solutions providing the option to serve static content directly, without having to connect to the web server in any way. Furthermore reverse proxy is capable of the compression of these assets.

The well-known Nginx web server is a reliable reverse proxy solution. While it’s true that the Apache web server is also equipped with a reverse proxy feature, however it’s an additional feature of Apache however Nginx was originally designed to focus specifically on the reverse proxy feature.

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

Because “forward” as well as “reverse” have connotations of directionality, and can lead to misleading comparisons with “incoming” as well as “outgoing” traffic. These labels can be confusing since both kinds of proxies are capable of handling requests and also respond. The best way to distinguish between reverse proxy as well as forward proxies would be to look at the specifications of the application that you’re creating.

Reverse proxy is an important feature when designing a solution that can provide web-based applications via the internet. They act as your servers when you are connected to the internet.

A forward proxy is beneficial when it is placed in front of users for personal usage, or even in a commercial setting. They are your customers when you are on the internet.

Utilizing case-based differentiation instead of focusing solely on naming conventions that are similar will help you avoid confusion.


The article explained what a proxy is and the two kinds of them, namely the both reverse and forward proxy. Examples of practical application scenarios as well as an analysis of the most useful features were utilized to differentiate between forward and reverse proxies. If you’re looking to know more about the advantages of proxies, then you can check out our guide on how to set up Nginx as an internet server and reverse proxy to Apache using the Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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