It is proxy or proxy server. proxy or proxy server. is a server-related software which acts as an intermediary between clients and servers on the internet. In the absence of an intermediary the user would be able to make a request for any resource directly to the server and the server will serve direct the resource requested to the client. Although this is a simple process to understand and implement using proxy servers, it does offer advantages in the form of more performance and privacy, security and much more. As a pass-through layer the proxy functions as a security protector of the internet between clients and servers.

In general, the system of hardware for servers and software to install proxy servers is usually referred to by the name proxy servers. In this article, we will focus on proxies typically understood as software, as well as ones that work in conjunction with web servers. We will provide a description of the two main types of proxies: forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each kind of proxy has its own specific application scenario, which is often misunderstood due to the similar naming convention.

This article will give you the basics of what proxy servers and their subtypes are as well as what they can accomplish for common setups. Through this article, you will be able to identify the scenarios where an effective proxy is useful, and select the best option between reverse and forward proxy options for each scenario.

Understanding Forward Proxies

In other words, a forward proxy or the open proxy is a representative of the client who is trying to transmit an internet request to the server from which it originated. In this scenario the entire attempt to send requests by the client will be handled by the forward proxy. In this scenario an agent acting on behalf of the forward proxy in in the place of the customer will review the request. The first step is to determine what authorization the user has to make requests through this specific forward proxy. The forward proxy will then deny this request, and then send it back to the original server. The client is not able to establish a direct connection to the internet. It can only reach what the forward proxy allows the client access.

One of the most popular reasons for forward proxy is greater privacy or anonymity on the internet. A forward proxy is able to access the internet in instead of a client and, in doing so, can use an alternative IP address to the original IP address of the client.

Depending on how it’s been set up in the past, forward proxy servers can offer a range of services and allow you to:

Forward proxies are also used in security systems that require centralized and permission based access for instance, at work. If all internet traffic flows through a common forward proxy layer an administrator is able to allow access only to specific users to the internet, which is then filtered by a common firewall. Instead of having firewalls installed for the client layer, that could be comprised of a variety of machines that have different user and environmental settings the firewall could be placed in an intermediate layer.

It is important to note that forward proxies require manual configuration to function, but reverse proxies are ignored to the user. Based on the fact that the IP address of a customer is sent to the source server through an forward proxy. Privacy and anonymity may be granted or ignored.

There are a variety of options to consider for forward proxy options:

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy functions as an agent on behalf of web servers, which handles any requests that are received by clients on behalf of. This web server may comprise one server or even multiple servers. It can also function for application servers such as Gunicorn. In any of these situations, it is possible to get a request from a client on the internet. In the majority of cases, this request will go directly to the server that hosts the resources the client is in need of. Reverse proxy is an intermediary, which separates Web server from direct interaction with the open internet.

From a client’s perspective that is from a user’s point of view connecting to reverse proxy isn’t any different than connecting directly to your webserver. It’s the same thing but the client can’t discern the distinction. The client requests an item and receives it without any additional configuration needed to be completed by the client.

Reverse proxy proxies can provide features, like:

Central security is an advantage of both reverse and forward proxy solutions, reverse proxies provide this benefit to the layer of the internet server rather than the client layer. instead of the maintenance of firewalls on the layer of web servers that may contain multiple servers with various configurations, the majority of firewall security is directed at this layer. Additionally, getting rid of the necessity to interface with firewalls as well as responding to clients’ requests through web servers enables them to concentrate on the requirements of their clients.

If multiple servers are using reverse proxy, the reverse proxy also takes care of how requests are routed on which server. There are many web servers offering the same content, however, they each serve different kinds of content or a combination of both. These servers may use the HTTP protocol just like a standard web server, but they might also use applications server protocols like FastCGI. You can also configure reverse proxy in order to direct clients to specific servers in accordance with the resource requested, or to observe certain rules for traffic load.

Reverse proxies also can take advantage of their placement in front of web servers by providing caching capabilities. Large static files may be managed with caching rules to stop the web server from being hit with every request Certain solutions offer the possibility of providing static files directly without touching the web server in any way. Furthermore the reverse proxy can manage the compression of these assets.

The well-known Nginx web server has become a well-known reverse proxy service. However, Apache is also a reverse proxy solution, the Apache webserver is also equipped with a reverse proxy functionality, it is an additional option. Apache and is in contrast to Nginx was originally designed and focused on reverse proxy functionality.

Distinguishing Forward Proxy from reverse Proxy Use Cases

Since “forward” in addition to “reverse” are both associated with an impression of directionality and a false comparison with “incoming” or “outgoing” traffic. These labels can confuse because both types of proxies handle both responses and requests. Instead, a better way to distinguish between forward and reverse proxy is to take into account the needs of the application that you are developing.

A reverse proxy is useful in designing solutions that provide web-based applications on the internet. They represent your web servers in all interactions on the web.

A forward proxy is helpful when it is placed before traffic from clients to your personal use, or for work. They are a representation of your traffic every time you connect to the internet.

Differentiating by use case instead of focusing on the similar naming conventions will assist in eliminating confusion.


This article will explain what a proxy is with the two major kinds being forward proxy and reverse proxy. Examples of practical applications as well as an examination of the most useful attributes were used to establish forward proxies and reverse proxies. If you’re interested in knowing more about how to implement proxy servers, check out our tutorial on how you can install Nginx as an internet server and reverse proxy using Apache on the Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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