A proxy, also known as a proxy, also known as a proxy server is also known as the proxy server, is software which serves as an intermediary between a client and server over the internet. Without the use of a proxy, clients would make a request resources directly to the server and it will serve the requested resource directly to the user. Although this is a simple process to comprehend and implement with proxies, it can provide benefits in the form of improved performance and privacy, security and much more. In addition to providing a layer of protection, a proxy acts as a gatekeeper to the internet between servers and clients.

It is generally accepted that the set of server hardware with installed proxy software is commonly referred to as proxy servers. In this post, we’ll concentrate on proxy servers, which are generally defined as software, and also when it comes to web servers. You will get a breakdown of the two primary types of proxies: the forward proxy as well as a reverse proxy. Each has its own application, and is frequently confused because of a similar naming convention.

This article will give you an understanding of types of proxy services and what their subtypes are, and their importance in standard setups. By reading this article, you’ll be able to understand what circumstances in which an effective proxy is beneficial, and choose the correct alternative between forward and reverse proxy based on the situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

A forward proxy also called an open proxy acts as an intermediary between a client that is trying to connect via the internet to an source server. In this instance, any request sent by the client will instead be sent straight through forward-proxy. A forward proxy, acting in the place of the client will examine the request. The first step is to determine whether the client is permitted be able to accept requests through this particular forward proxy. It will then deny any request, or redirect it to the original server. The client has no connection to any internet. It is able to access only the web pages that the forward proxy allows its access.

The most popular applications of forward proxies is to improve privacy and security when surfing the internet. Forward proxy makes use of the internet as the client, and in that process it can use an alternate IP address in addition to the original IP address of the client.

Based on the way it was configured, based on the configuration, forward proxy may offer various features based upon the configuration, which allows you to:

Forward proxies are also utilized in systems that provide centralized security as well as permission-based access, like at the workplace. Internet traffic can go via an open forward proxy. administrators are able to restrict access to certain users to the internet, which is protected by a standard firewall. Instead of having firewalls in place for the client layer that can include multiple devices that have different configurations and users it is possible to install an firewall that is located in the forward proxy layer.

Be aware to note that settings for forward proxy should be manually configured for be used, however reverse proxies will be disregarded by the client. Depending on whether the IP address of a user is passed to the server from where it originated by the forward proxy privacy and anonymity can be granted or hidden.

There are a variety of alternatives to think about when it comes to forward proxy:

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy functions as the web server that handles the incoming requests of customers on behalf of. The web server could represent a single, or a number of servers. It may additionally be an app server, such as Gunicorn. In all of these scenarios, an application request is made through the internet. Most of the time requests are sent directly to the server along with the information that the client is requesting. In contrast, a reverse proxy acts as an intermediary that isolates your website server from communication with the internet’s open.

From the perspective of the individual client’s point of view reverse proxy is a process that reverse proxy isn’t different from communicating with Web server in direct communication. It’s the same process and the client is unable to tell the distinction. Client requests the resource, which is followed by its receipt, without any extra configuration required by the end user.

Reverse proxies provide options like:

Although centralized security is a benefit of both reverse and forward proxy, reverse proxy adds this function to the web server layer, but not the client layer. Instead of focusing on the maintenance of firewalls at the layer of web servers which may contain many servers and various configurations, most of firewall security is targeted towards the reverse proxy layer. Additionally, removing the responsibility of interacting with firewalls and interacting with requests from clients far from web servers allows them to focus on meeting the requirements of their customers.

If there are multiple servers that are connected via a reverse proxy reverse proxy is responsible to direct which requests will go to which servers. There could be multiple web servers that provide the same content, each providing different services or a mixture of both. These servers can be using the HTTP protocol that is a standard web server, however they could incorporate different protocols for applications servers such as FastCGI. It is also possible to set up reverse proxy settings to direct users to a specific server based on the requested resource or to comply with specific guidelines for the amount of traffic.

Reverse proxies can benefit from their position on top of web servers, as they have the ability to store information. The large static files can be set up with caching policies to avoid hitting web servers on every request. Certain solutions allow you to serve static files directly without connecting to servers on the internet in any manner. In addition reverse proxy solutions can help compress these assets.

The well-known Nginx web server is also used as a well-known reverse proxy option. However, a similar feature that is available in Apache web server, it does include reverse proxy functions as an added feature that is available for Apache while Nginx was initially designed to and is specifically designed for reverse proxy functions.

Distinguishing Forward and Reverse Proxy Use Situations

Since “forward” in addition to “reverse” have connotations of directionality, and false comparisons with “incoming” as well as “outgoing” traffic The labels can be confusing since both types of proxy systems process requests as well as responses. The best method of separating between a both reverse and forward proxies is to study the specifications of the application that you’re building.

Reverse proxy is useful when designing a solution for serving websites via the internet. They are your servers when you use the internet.

Forward proxy can be beneficial when they are placed in front of customers to facilitate your own usage or even in a corporate setting. They are a representation of your customer’s traffic through any interaction on the internet.

A case-based distinction instead of focusing solely on commonly used naming conventions can help in avoiding confusion.


This article clarified what a proxy is and the two primary kinds that are forward and reverse proxy. Practical applications as well as a review of the attributes that are beneficial were used to identify forward proxies and reverse proxy. If you’re interested in learning more about implementation of proxies You can read our tutorial on how you can configure Nginx as a reverse and web server proxy for Apache on one Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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