It is a proxy or proxy server, is software that acts as a mediator between client and server over the internet. Without the use of a proxy, clients can send requests for or resource to the server directly and then the server would serve the resource directly back to the user. Although this method is simple to comprehend and implement the addition of proxy servers can bring advantages in the form of increased performance, privacy, security, and many other benefits. As a layer of pass-through, a proxy acts as an extra layer of security on the internet between clients and servers.

There is a general consensus that the combination of server hardware and software to install proxy servers is commonly referred to by the name of proxy servers. This article will be focusing on proxy servers that are usually classified as software, and also within the context of web servers. The article will provide a detailed discussion of the two principal kinds of proxy servers, which include a forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Every one has its unique unique usage scenario, which is often not understood due to the similar terminology.

This article will provide you with some knowledge about the types of proxies and what subtypes they are and how they function in the most common configurations. After reading this article, you’ll be able to determine the circumstances where you could benefit by a proxy, and decide which is the best choice between forward and reverse proxy for every situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

The forward proxy also known in the form of the open proxy acts as the representative of a user who would like to make a request through the internet to a source server. In this scenario, the entire request sent by the user is instead transferred to the forward proxy. This forward proxy, acting as a substitute for the client will examine the request. The first step is to determine whether the client is permitted to accept requests through this specific forward proxy. It then decides whether to decline a request and forward it to the original server. The client is not capable of having an internet connection directly. It is only able to access what forward proxy allows the client to access.

A common use of forward proxy is to achieve more privacy or protection when surfing the web. A forward proxy is able to access the internet instead of a client and, in this way it could utilize a different IP address than the initial IP address.

Depending on how it has been set up the forward proxy will provide a variety of functions depending on how it is configured and allows you to:

Forward proxies are also used for security systems that are centralized and based on permission access such as in the workplace. Every internet connection can go through the open forward proxy. an administrator can grant only a handful of clients access to the internet via an common firewall. Instead of establishing firewalls at the layer of clients that could include a variety of devices with various configurations and users, a firewall can be placed at an front proxy layer.

It is vital to note that forward proxies must be manually set up to use however reverse proxies will remain undetected by clients. Based on the fact that the IP address of the user is transmitted to the server from which it originated by the forward proxy, privacy and anonymity may be granted or unnoticed.

There are numerous possibilities to look into for forward proxy options:

Understanding Reverse Proxies

The reverse proxy acts as the server which handles requests from clients in its place. The web server may serve as a single server, or as a set of servers. In addition, it could function in the role of an application server such as Gunicorn. In either of these scenarios the request will come from an internet-connected user. Typically, the request is directly sent to the web server which contains the resources the user wants. Instead, a reverse proxy functions as an intermediary, shielding it from any direct contact with the open internet.

From the viewpoint of the user, working with reverse proxy is not distinct from communicating with the web server directly. It’s functionally the same and the user is unable to tell the distinction. The client sends a request for a resource and then receiving it, without any extra configuration required from the user.

Reverse proxies can provide features such as:

While central security is an advantage of both forward and reverse proxy servers. Reverse proxy servers provide this benefit only to the web server layer but not to the layer that clients use. Instead of maintaining firewalls on the server level, which could contain multiple servers with different configurations, the majority of firewall security could be handled by the reverse proxy layer. Furthermore, getting rid of the hassle of dealing with a firewall and interacting with requests from clients away from web servers lets them concentrate on serving resources.

If multiple servers are operating through a reverse proxy, the reverse proxy takes care of how requests are routed to the server. There could be multiple web servers providing the exact same service, each providing different kinds of resources, or a combination of the two. They may utilize the HTTP protocol as a conventional web server, however they may additionally include application server protocols such as FastCGI. You can set up a reverse proxy to route clients to specific servers based on the resource they request or to adhere to certain rules regarding traffic load.

Reverse proxies also can profit by their position on top of web servers, by providing the ability to cache data. Large static assets can be set up using caching rules to prevent the web server from being hit with every request. Certain solutions providing the option to upload static files directly, without connecting to a web server even once. Furthermore, the reverse proxy can manage the compression of these assets.

The well-known Nginx web server is also a very popular reverse proxy solution. Although Apache has a reverse proxy solution, the Apache web server does have reverse proxy functions as an added option for Apache and Nginx was initially designed and specifically focused on reverse proxy functions.

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

Since “forward” and “reverse” are associated with the notion of directionality and false distinctions between “incoming” in addition to “outgoing” traffic These labels are prone to confusion since both kinds of proxy deal with requests and responses. Better yet, the best method to differentiate between reverse and forward proxy is to look at the requirements of the app that you’re developing.

Reverse proxy is a crucial aspect when developing a solution to serve websites on the internet. They are your web servers in any interaction with the internet.

Forward proxy can be useful for use in front of customers for your own usage, or in a working environment. They serve as the proxy for your client for any interaction on the internet.

Differentiating by use case rather than focusing solely on common names makes it easier to avoid confusion.


The article explained the meaning of a proxy with two types of proxy, the forward proxy and reverse proxy. Practical scenarios for use as well as a discussion of most useful features were utilized to differentiate forward proxies from reverse proxy. If you’re interested to learn more about the advantages of proxies, you can read our tutorial on how to configure Nginx as an reverse proxy and an internet server with Apache using an Ubuntu 20.04 Server.

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