It’s an proxy which is also known as a proxy server. It’s an application that functions as an intermediary between client and server over the internet. In the absence of a proxy server, a user could send a request to an item directly to a server, and the server will provide the requested resource directly to the user. While this is a simple method to understand and implement with proxy services, it may bring advantages in terms greater performance as well as privacy, security and many more. A pass-through layer in addition to proxy is an extra security layer on the internet between servers and clients.

In general, the entire set of hardware used by servers and installed proxy software is commonly called proxy servers. This article will concentrate on proxy servers which are usually classified as software and within the context of web servers. This article will provide a detailed breakdown of the two main types: a forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each type has its own unique usage case, but they’re often confused because of the identical namesake convention.

This article will provide you with information about what proxies are and the subtypes of them and how they operate in the common configurations. In this article you will be able to identify the scenarios where you could gain from using a proxy and decide on the most appropriate solution between forward proxy and reverse proxy for every situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

The forward proxy also known as the open proxy serves as an agent for a user who wishes to make a request via the internet to an original server. In this case, it’s the situation that all requests sent by the client would rather be sent through an forward proxy. A forward proxy acting in place of the client, will examine the request. The first step is to determine if the client is permitted to send requests via this specific forward proxy. It will then deny any request, or send it on to its original server. The client doesn’t directly connect to the Internet. It only has access to the internet that the forward proxy allows it to connect to.

The most common reasons for forward proxy is to gain increased privacy or anonymity on the internet. Forward proxy utilizes the internet as the client. In this way, it can use an alternative IP address to the client’s initial IP address.

Depending on how it has been configured and how it is configured forward proxy can offer a number of options and allow you to:

Forward proxies can also be used in systems that offer central security and access through authorizations, for instance in a workplace. When all internet traffic passes through a standard forward proxy, an administrator could permit only a few clients access to the internet which is then filtered by a firewall that is common to all. Instead of putting firewalls in place to protect the client layer, which can include multiple machines with different configurations and users the firewall can be placed within the layer that forwards proxy-related traffic.

Be aware that forward proxy servers must be set up manually for use while reverse proxies may not be noticed from the customer. Depending on the type of IP address of a customer is relayed to the server that originated it via the forward proxy, privacy and security could be granted or not be noticed.

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

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy serves as a representative of web servers, which handles the incoming requests of clients on behalf of. This web server may include a server or multiple servers. It could also function for application servers, such as Gunicorn. In any case, the request will come in via the web in general. Most of the time the request will go directly to the server with the information the client is in need of. A reverse proxy functions as an intermediary and isolates it from any direct interactions with the open internet.

From the viewpoint of the client, interacting with reverse proxy isn’t different from interacting with the website server in direct contact. It’s the same thing and the client is unable to tell the difference. The client makes a request for an item, receives it without any additional configuration needed on the part of the client.

Reverse proxy providers provide features like:

While central security is an advantage of both forward and reverse proxy solutions, reverse proxy provides this benefit only to Web server layers, but not to the client layer. Instead of implementing firewalls on the layer of web servers which may include multiple servers with different configurations, the majority of firewall security is centered at that layer called reverse proxy. Furthermore eliminating the responsibility of communicating with firewalls and communicating with requests from clients who aren’t connected to web servers lets them focus solely on serving the needs of their clients.

In the event of multiple servers running behind a reverse proxy, the reverse proxy also is responsible for controlling which requests go through which server. Multiple web servers could be serving the same content, supplying different types of resources or a mixture of both. They can utilize the HTTP protocol similar to traditional web servers but include other protocols for application servers such as FastCGI. You can configure reverse proxy servers to redirect clients to specific servers in accordance with the requested resource, or to adhere to certain rules for traffic load.

Reverse proxies also gain from their positioning prior to web servers, offering caching capabilities. Large static files can be arranged with caching rules to avoid having to contact web servers for every request. Some solutions allowing users to serve static assets directly without having to connect to the web server at all times. In addition, the reverse proxy can manage compression of these assets.

The popular Nginx web server is also used as a well-known reverse proxy service. Even though Apache can also be a reverse proxy service, the Apache web server is also equipped with an reverse proxy which is an additional function for Apache However, Nginx was initially designed for and is focused exclusively on reverse proxy feature.

Differentiating Forward Proxy and reverse Proxy Use Examples

Because “forward” as well as “reverse” are both associated with a sense of directionality and can lead to misleading comparisons with “incoming” and “outgoing” traffic, these labels can confuse since both kinds of proxies process requests and responses. Instead, a better way to differentiate between forward and reverse proxy services is to study the specifications of the application that you are building.

Reverse proxy is a useful tool to develop an option to provide web-based services via the internet. They are your web servers when you connect to the internet.

Forward proxy apps are useful for displaying clients for personal usage, or even in a corporate setting. They are your client’s proxy for all interactions online.

The practice of segregating by use case, instead of using commonly used naming conventions can make it easier to prevent confusion.


This article describes the definition of a proxy along with the two types, namely the forward proxy and the reverse proxy. Practical applications as well as a brief overview of the beneficial features were utilized to differentiate forward proxies from reverse. If you’d like to discover the possibilities of proxies then take a look at our tutorial on how to set up Nginx as an reverse proxy and internet server for Apache on Ubuntu 20.04. Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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