The term “proxy” refers to the concept of a proxy or proxy server a server software that serves to act as an intermediary for a client and server over the internet. Without proxy, a user can send a request straight to servers while the server will return the requested resource directly to the user. This method is simple to comprehend and utilize, adding proxies offers advantages including improved performance, privacy, security, and more. In addition to providing a pass-through layer, the proxy functions as a security guardian of the internet between servers and clients.

Generally speaking, the combined system of server hardware with the installed proxy software is often referred to as proxy servers. This article will concentrate on proxies which are generally thought of to be software, and specifically, in relation to web servers. This article will give an explanation of two types, namely one being a forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each type has a different usage scenario, which is often misunderstood because of the similar terminology.

This article will provide the understanding of the types of proxy and the subtypes they are, as well as how they work in a variety of configurations. In this article, you’ll learn to identify situations in which a proxy is beneficial, and select the best option between reverse proxy and forward proxy for any situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

Forward proxy sometimes called an open proxy is a means of intermediary for a client trying to make a request via the internet to connect to a source server. In this situation the entire process of sending requests by the user is instead transmitted via the forward proxy. This forward proxy acting as a substitute as the customer, is able to look at the request. At the beginning, it will decide whether this client is able to accept requests from this specific forward proxy. It will then reject requests or redirect them to the original server. The client is not allowed an internet connection directly. It can access only what forward proxy allows for it access to.

One of the most frequent uses for forward proxies is to gain more privacy or security on the internet. A forward proxy accesses the internet as the client and, in doing so, it may use an alternative IP address in addition to the initial IP address of the client.

Based on the way it has been configured according to the method of configuration, a forward proxy could offer a range of features and allow you to:

Forward proxies also are used in systems of centralized security and access based on permissions, like in workplaces. If all internet traffic flows through an open forward proxy layer, administrators are able to grant access only to a select group of users to the internet, and this is then filtered by a standard firewall. Instead of creating firewalls for the client layer which can be used by a variety of computers that have different configurations, environment, the firewall can be set up at this layer to forward proxy data.

It is crucial to keep in mind that forward proxy servers must be configured manually and reverse proxies could go unnoticed by the client. Depending on the type of IP address a client is transmitted to the server from where it was received by the forward proxy, anonymity and privacy can be granted or denied.

There are many possibilities to look into forward proxy options:

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy acts as an intermediary between a web server, handling any requests that come in from customers on its behalf. This server can function as a one server, or a number of servers. It could also be used as an application server, such as Gunicorn. In any case it is possible to send a request via the internet at large. Most often, the request will go directly to the server, containing the information that the user is looking for. The reverse proxy functions as an intermediary, protecting the web server from direct contact to the open internet.

From a user’s point of view the experience of interacting using reverse proxy isn’t much different than using the server on its own. It’s the same, but the client isn’t able to tell the distinction. The client is able to request the resource and is then provided with it, with no further configuration needed by the client.

Reverse proxy providers offer services such as:

While centralized security is a benefit of both forward and reverse proxy services, reverse proxy providers this feature for the Web server layer, but not the client layer. instead of the maintenance of firewalls at Web server layers that could comprise multiple servers with different configurations, most of the firewall security is concentrated at the reverse proxy layer. Additionally eliminating the responsibility of working with firewalls as well as interacting with requests from clients that are not on web servers allows them to focus on delivering the needs of their customers.

If there are multiple servers running through a reverse proxy the reverse proxy takes care of directing the flow of requests to each server. There could be multiple web servers that provide the identical service, but each providing different kinds of resources, or a combination of both. These servers could be running the HTTP protocol as a conventional web server. However, they could include other protocols for application servers such as FastCGI. It is possible to configure a reverse proxy to direct users to a particular server based on the service they require or to adhere to specific guidelines for traffic load.

Reverse proxies can also be able to gain advantage from their position prior to web servers by giving them the ability to cache data. The large static files can be set with caching rules to ensure that they prevent the web server from being hit with every request. Some solutions allowing you to upload static files directly, without connecting to the web server in any way. Furthermore the reverse proxy can handle the compression of these files.

The well-known Nginx web server is also an effective reverse proxy option. While you can use Nginx, the Apache web server has reverse proxy capabilities but it’s an additional option for Apache however Nginx was originally designed for and is specifically focused on reverse proxy features.

The distinction between the use of reverse and forward proxy The Case

Because “forward” or “reverse” have associations with directionality, as well as false comparisons to “incoming” and “outgoing” traffic the labels could be confusing because both kinds of proxies can handle both requests and responses. A different method of distinguishing between forward and reverse proxy is to study the requirements of the app you’re developing.

A reverse proxy can be beneficial when designing an infrastructure to support web applications on the internet. They serve as your web servers for all interactions on the internet.

Forward proxy is useful when placed in front of customers for personal use, or in the corporate setting. They are a representation of the customer’s data whenever you interact on the internet.

Differentiating by case of use instead of focusing on the common naming conventions can assist you in avoidance of confusion.


The article clarified the significance of a proxy having two types: forward proxy and reverse proxy. Practical examples of use and an analysis of useful attributes were used to identify the two types of proxies which are reverse and forward. If you’re keen to know more about the advantages of proxies, we recommend that you go through our guide on how you can configure Nginx as an internet server and reverse proxy in Apache on an Ubuntu 20.04 Server.

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