“proxy” is a term used to describe a server “proxy” is a reference to a proxy or proxy server is a software that sits acting as a mediator between client and a server via the internet. Without the proxy, a user would make a request for a source directly to the server, and it would deliver the resource directly back for the client. It’s not hard to understand and implement. adding proxies provides advantages in the form of increased security, performance, privacy and more. As a layer of pass-through, proxy services act as a gatekeeper on the internet between servers and clients.

In general, the set of server hardware along with installed proxy software is also commonly referred to as proxy servers. But, this article will focus on proxy servers that are generally described as software, as well as those that are used together with web servers. This article will give an explanation of the two main types that are available, which include the forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each type has its own usage that could be confusing due to the use of overlapping terms.

This article will provide you with an understanding of what proxies as well as their subtypes are, as well as their value in the typical settings. If you go through this article, you’ll be able to identify scenarios in which a reliable proxy could be advantageous, and decide on the most suitable choice between reverse proxy and forward proxy in any circumstance.

Understanding Forward Proxies

In other words forward proxy also referred to as open proxy open proxy is an agent of the user trying to transmit the request online an server. In this scenario, every attempt to send requests made by the user will be directed via the forward proxy. In this scenario the forward proxy acting on behalf of the client, will look into the request. At the beginning it will decide if the client is authorized to make requests via this particular forward proxy. It will then either deny requests or redirect them to the origin server. The client doesn’t have a an internet connection directly and has access to only what the forward proxy allows for it to join.

The most common reason to use forward proxies is to provide more privacy or security on the internet. A forward proxy connects to the internet for the individual client. And when it does this it could use an IP address different from the IP of the user.

Depending on how it’s been configured depending on the way it’s set up, forward proxy could provide a variety of functions as well as the ability to:

Forward proxies can also be used in systems to provide central security as well as access based on permissions, such as at work. When all internet traffic goes through an open forward proxy layer, admins can restrict only a small number of users connection to internet that is blocked by a common firewall. Instead of putting firewalls in the client layer, which may be utilized by multiple computers that have different configurations, users and environments the firewall can be put in this forward proxy layer.

Be aware that forward proxy servers have to be manually configured before they can be utilized while reverse proxy servers could be not noticed by clients. Depending on whether your IP address is transferred to the server that is being used through the forward proxy, privacy and anonymity may be granted or kept secret.

There are many choices to consider for forward proxies.

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy acts in the capacity of an agent on a server that handles requests made by clients on its behalf. The web server could function as a single server or a number of servers. In addition, it could comprise an application server, like Gunicorn. In either of these scenarios a request could come from a user on the internet at large. The request will typically be directed directly to the server on the internet which holds the information that the client is asking for. In contrast, a reverse proxy is a intermediary, isolating the web server from direct communication with the open internet.

From the perspective of the user, working using reverse proxy isn’t any different from interacting directly with an internet server. It’s the same thing but the client doesn’t see the difference. The client asks for the resource, and is then provided with it, without any additional configuration needed from the user.

Reverse proxy providers provide features like:

Central security is a benefit of both reverse and forward proxy, reverse proxies add this feature to that layer that is on the webserver rather than the client layer. instead of sustaining firewalls at the server level, that could include several servers with different configurations, the majority of firewall security could be directed at the reverse proxy layer. Furthermore, taking the responsibility of communicating with firewalls and coordinating requests from clients off web servers allows firewalls to focus on providing the required resources.

In the event of multiple servers that are running through a reverse proxy, the reverse proxy can also be in charge of directing which requests are directed to which servers. Multiple web servers might be running within the same system, serving various kinds of resources or a mixture of the two. These servers utilize the HTTP protocol to function as an ordinary web server. However, they could also be equipped with other protocols for application servers such as FastCGI. It is possible to set up reverse proxy servers to direct clients to specific servers in accordance with the requested resource or to follow certain guidelines regarding the amount of traffic.

Reverse proxies are also able to make use of their positioning before web servers through caching features. The large static files can be configured using caching rules to avoid the web server from being hit with every request, with some options that let you serve static content directly without having to connect to a servers in any manner. In addition, the reverse proxy can be capable of handling compression of these assets.

The well-known Nginx web server can also function as an effective reverse proxy option. Although Apache is also an alternative to reverse proxy, the Apache web server also includes reverse proxy functionality, it can be a second option for Apache and Nginx was initially designed for and focuses on the reverse proxy features.

Differentiating Forward Proxy and Reverse Proxy Use Situations

Since “forward” as well as “reverse” are associated with a sense of directionality, and false connections with “incoming” and “outgoing” traffic, the labels can be confusing as both types of proxies can handle requests as well as responses. In addition, the most effective method to distinguish between the reverse as well as forward proxy is to take into account the requirements of the application you’re creating.

A reverse proxy can be helpful when you are developing a solution to serve web-based applications via the internet. They serve as your web servers in all interactions on the Internet.

A forward proxy is helpful when used in front of clients for personal use or even in a corporate setting. They are your client’s representative for any interaction on the internet.

The use case-based differentiation instead of focusing on common naming conventions will help you in avoidance of confusion.


This article describes what a “proxy” is and the two main types being the forward proxy and reverse proxy. Practical scenarios to use them as well as an examination of the useful features were used to distinguish the two types of proxies that are reverse and forward. If you’re looking for ways to make proxies work, look up our guide on how to configure Nginx as reverse and web server proxy for Apache on an Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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