The term “proxy” refers to a proxy, also called a proxy server is program acting as an intermediary client and server via the internet. Without the proxy, a user will send a request to resources directly to a server and it would deliver the resource directly back for the client. This method is simple to understand and implement, but the addition of proxy servers can bring advantages such as increased performance, privacy, security, and a host of other benefits. In addition to providing pass-through the proxy functions as a security guardian of the internet, separating clients from servers.

In general, the combination of server hardware that is paired with installed proxy software is also frequently called proxy servers. This article will concentrate on the proxies that are usually considered to be software, and in the context of web servers. We will discuss of two types of proxies, the other being one that is a forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each type has its own application and is often confused due to the resemblance of namesake convention.

This article will provide you with an understanding of types of proxies and subtypes in terms of their benefits for setups that are common. If you’ve read in this post, you’ll be able discern situations in which the use of proxies is advantageous, and then choose the most appropriate option between forward proxy and reverse proxy depending on the circumstance.

Understanding Forward Proxies

Forward proxy also known as open proxy. An open proxy is the agent of a customer who wants to forward a request via the internet to an the server that made it. In this scenario any attempts to send requests from the client’s end will instead be routed to the forward proxy. Forward proxy in place of the client, will examine the request. The first step is to verify if the client is allowed to receive requests from this specific forward proxy. It will then reject any request, or redirect it to its origin server. The client is not able to have direct access to the internet It can only access what the forward proxy allows it to access.

The most common reason for using forward proxy servers is increased privacy or anonymity online. Forward proxy connects to the internet through clients and in this way, it could make use of an IP address different from the IP of the client.

Depending on the way it’s configured, forward proxy will give you a range of options and the capability to:

Forward proxies are also employed in systems that offer central security and access to users based on permissions, for instance in workplaces. When all internet traffic flows through a forward proxy Administrators are able to allow only specific clients access to the internet using a common firewall. Instead of putting firewalls for the client layer, which may include multiple computers with different settings, environment, a firewall can be placed in a forward proxy layer.

It is crucial to keep in mind the forward proxy configurations need to be manually set up to permit them to be used for use in reverse proxies, whereas forward proxies are able to not be noticed by the user. Based on an IP address belonging to a user is sent to the server from which it originated through the forward proxy privacy and security can be granted or kept in the dark.

There are a variety of alternatives to take into consideration when considering forward proxy choices:

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy functions as an intermediary for web servers, and takes care of requests from clients on behalf of. The web server may serve as a single server or a number of servers. In addition, it could be an application server such as Gunicorn. In any case an application request comes from a user via the internet at large. Most of the time, the request will go directly to the server that hosts the information that the user is looking for. Reverse proxy, however, acts as a middleman to protect your server from interaction via the web’s public.

From the perspective of a user’s the consumer’s perspective, working with reverse proxy isn’t any different than interacting with Web server in direct contact. It’s functionally similar, however the client cannot tell the distinction. The client requests an item and receives it, with no additional configuration needed by the client.

Reverse proxy providers provide features like:

While central security can be a benefit of both forward and reverse proxy, reverse proxies do this only for just the Web server layer but not the client layer. instead of maintaining firewalls on Web server layers that may comprise multiple servers that have different configurations, the bulk in firewall protection is aimed at the reverse proxy layer. Additionally, removing the burden of interacting with firewalls and interfacing with requests from clients off of web servers enables them to concentrate on providing resources.

In the case of multiple servers with a reverse-proxy, the reverse proxy is also accountable for deciding what requests go at the server. There could be multiple web servers that are running from the same host, each serving different kinds of resources or a mix of the two. These servers could use the HTTP protocol, which is similar to a traditional web server. They could also incorporate applications server protocols such as FastCGI. It is also possible to configure reverse proxy servers to direct the clients towards specific servers based on the service they require, or to observe certain guidelines regarding traffic load.

Reverse proxies can also take advantage of their placement on top of web servers with the help of caching. The large static files can be configured using caching rules to prevent hitting web servers with every request, with some solutions even allowing the provision of static files in a direct manner without linking directly to the website server. Furthermore, the reverse proxy can manage compression of these files.

The well-known Nginx web server is a well-known reverse proxy option. However, it’s not a reverse proxy, the Apache web server comes equipped with reverse proxy option as an additional function that is available for Apache whereas Nginx was initially designed for and focused on the reverse proxy function.

Differentiating Forward Proxy from Reverse Proxy Use Cases

Because “forward” in addition to “reverse” are associated with the notion of directionality and also false comparisons with “incoming” as well as “outgoing” traffic, these labels can be confusing, as both types of proxies can be used to respond to requests and responses. A different method of distinguishing between forward and reverse proxy servers would be to analyze the needs of the application you are developing.

Reverse proxy is an effective tool when you are developing a solution to serve websites on the internet. They are your web servers when you interact with the Internet.

Forward proxy is a great tool to use if you’re working with clients in front to use for personal purposes or even in a work environment. They can be used to represent the traffic of your clients when you are on the internet.

A distinction that is based on the use rather than focusing on the common names can help in getting rid of confusion.


The article described what a proxy is along with two types being the reverse proxy and forward proxy. Practical examples of its use and a discussion of most beneficial features was used to differentiate forward proxies from reverse proxies. If you’re looking to learn the ways to use proxies, we suggest you go through our tutorial on how to set up Nginx as an reverse proxy and internet server on Apache using an Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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