It is an proxy is sometimes referred to as a proxy server software program which serves in the role of an intermediary two parties: a server and a user on the internet. Without the proxy, a client could make a request for a request directly to the server, and the server would deliver the requested resource directly to the client. This is not difficult to comprehend and implement the addition of proxy servers may provide benefits in terms of enhanced efficiency, privacy, security, and so on. As an additional layer of pass-through proxy servers serve as a defender for the internet between clients and servers.

In general the mix of server hardware and installed proxy software is often called proxy servers. The article we’ll concentrate on proxies commonly thought to be software, specifically with regard to servers on the internet. There will be a discussion of the two main types of proxies, which are a forward proxy and a reverse proxy. Each has its own usage scenario, but they can be confused due to a similar namesake convention.

This article will give you an understanding of what proxies as well as their subtypes are, and how they are useful for common setups. In this article, you’ll learn how to discern the scenarios where you could benefit from a proxy and then select the most appropriate option between reverse and forward proxy, in each scenario.

Understanding Forward Proxies

Forward proxy also called an open proxy is an agent for users who are trying to make a request through the internet to an original server. If this is the case, any requests made by the client will rather be directed to an forward proxy. In this scenario, this forward proxy, acting the in the place of the customer will examine the request. First, it will determine whether the client is allowed to send requests through this specific forward proxy. The forward proxy will then deny any request, or redirect it to the original server. The client is not able to establish a direct connection to the internet. it only has access to what the forward proxy grants it access to.

The primary reason for people to use forward proxy is the need to increase privacy or security online. Forward proxy utilizes an internet connection as a client as such it is using an alternate IP address for your client’s IP address.

Depending on how they were established in the past forward proxy servers may offer a range of features, allowing you to:

Forward proxies can also be employed in systems that provide central security and access based on permissions for instance in workplaces. In the event that all internet traffic is routed via an open forward proxy, the administrators are able to restrict access to only certain clients to the internet through a common firewall. Instead of maintaining firewalls for the client layer, which could involve many machines with varying configurations or users can be set up at the forward proxy layer.

Remember to set forward proxy preferences must be set up manually before they are able to be used to use them in reverse proxies, whereas forward proxy servers are not able to be noticed by the user. Depending on the type of IP address of a user is relayed to the server from which it originated through the forward proxy privacy and anonymity may be granted, or to go unnoticed.

There are many possibilities to consider for forward proxies:

Understanding Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy functions as an intermediary between the web server and takes the care of requests coming in from clients on behalf of. The web server can function as a single server or multiple servers. Additionally, it can become an application-server like Gunicorn. In any of these scenarios, a request would originate from a user on the internet in general. Typically, the request will be directed directly to a web server which has all the resources the client seeks. Reverse proxy acts as an intermediary that shields the webserver from direct contact with the open internet.

From the perspective of the client’s view of the user, using reverse proxy is similar to interacting with the server by itself. It’s functionally identical, however the client cannot tell the distinction. Client asks for a resource gets it, without extra configuration needed by the client.

Reverse proxy providers provide features like:

Although centralized security is a benefit of both reverse and forward proxy systems, reverse proxy providers apply this feature to this web server layer, and not the client layer. instead of maintaining firewalls at Web server layers, which could contain multiple servers with different configurations, the majority of firewall security could be concentrated on the reverse proxy layer. Additionally, getting rid of the hassle of interfacing with firewalls and interfacing with requests from clients outside of web servers permits the firewall to focus on supplying the necessary resources.

If there are multiple servers operating in a reverse proxy, the reverse proxy also handles how requests are routed through which server. There are many web servers connected to one server offering different types of resource or a mixture of the two. They use the HTTP protocol like a traditional web server, however they could also incorporate applications server protocols like FastCGI. It is possible to configure reverse proxy to direct users to particular servers based on the type of resource they are searching for, or to observe certain guidelines on the volume of traffic.

Reverse proxies can also benefit from their positioning on top of web servers through the capability of caching. The large static files can be set up with caching rules to avoid hitting web servers with each request. Certain options allow users to serve static assets without connecting to the web server at all. In addition the reverse proxy could manage compressing these assets.

The well-known Nginx web server also functions as a well-known reverse proxy solution. It is factual that Apache web server is also equipped with a reverse proxy function, it’s an additional feature available only for Apache however Nginx was initially designed and is focused on reverse proxy functions.

Distinguishing Forward and Reverse Proxy Use Distinguishing Forward and Reverse Proxy Use

Since “forward” in addition to “reverse” come with connotations of directionality and misleading analogies to “incoming” as well as “outgoing” traffic, these labels can confuse because both types of proxies handle responses and requests. The best method to differentiate between reverse and forward proxy is to look at the requirements of the application you’re creating.

Reverse proxy is a useful tool to use when developing a solution to serve web-based applications via the internet. They act as your web servers every time you use the web.

Forward proxy is a great tool for displaying clients for personal use, or even in a workplace. They represent the client’s information whenever you interact on the internet.

The practice of segregating by use case rather than focusing on the similar name conventions will ensure you don’t get confused.


This article will explain the definition of a proxy with two types of proxy which are the reverse proxy and the forward proxy. Practical examples of use as well as a discussion of the most beneficial features were used to establish the distinction the distinction between forward and reverse proxy. If you’re interested in learning more about the possibilities of proxies, then you should check out our guide on how to set up Nginx as a reverse proxy for Apache on an Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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