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It is a proxy often known as proxy server software that acts as a middleman between the user and server on the web. Without proxy servers, users would make a request a resource directly to a server and it would deliver that resource to its user directly. This is not difficult to comprehend and implement. addition of proxies can bring advantages such as improved performance and privacy, security and so on. As an additional layer of pass-through, proxies act as a gatekeeper on the internet between clients and servers.

It is generally accepted that the collection of server hardware along with the software used to install proxy is often referred too by the name proxy servers. This article will focus on proxies commonly referred to as software, and also in connection with web server. The article will provide details of the two major types of proxies that comprise forward proxy and reverse proxy. forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each has its own use case, often confused due to the overlapping naming convention.

This article will provide you with an idea of the nature of proxies and subtypes are, as well as how they function in normal configurations. In this guide, you’ll learn how to identify the circumstances that using proxy servers is advantageous, and choose the correct solution in between forward and reverse proxy in each circumstance.

Understanding Forward Proxies

In the same way a forward proxy, also called an open proxy is a representative of the customer who wishes to forward requests via online to the origin server. In this situation any attempts to send requests by the client will be transferred to the forward proxy. In this situation the forward proxy acting instead of the client will look into the request. The first step is to check if the client is authorized to receive requests from this specific forward proxy. It will then either deny any request or forward it to the original server. The client doesn’t have a direct connection to the internet It can only connect to the internet that forward proxy allows it to connect to.

The most popular reason for using forward proxies is to improve privacy or security on the internet. Forward proxy makes use of the internet in place of a client and in that process it can use an alternate IP address that is different from the client’s initial IP address.

Based on the way it’s configured, and based on the way it’s set up forward proxy could provide many features as well as the ability to:

  • Avoid ad tracking.

  • Circumvent surveillance.

  • Find limitations based on the geographic place of residence.

Forward proxies are also used in systems that provide centralized security and access that is based on permissions like in the workplace. If all internet traffic is routed through an open forward proxy layer administrators could allow access only to specific users to the internet filtered through the common firewall. Instead of having firewalls installed on the client layer which may contain various devices with different settings and users and settings A firewall could be added to this forward proxy layer.

Note that forward proxy server must be manually set up to use before they can be utilized, whereas reverse proxies are able to be disregarded by clients. Based on whether or not an IP address from the client is transferred to the server that originated it through the forward proxy privacy and anonymity can be provided or rendered more transparent.

There are many possibilities to consider options for forward proxy options

  • Apache The Apache is a popular open-source web server that offers forward proxy capabilities.

  • Nginx: Another well-known open source webserver with forward proxy capability.

  • Squid is a free forward proxy that uses the HTTP protocol. Squid doesn’t include the full web server. We recommend you read our guide on the best method of creating Squid proxy to allow private connections on Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Dante Forward proxy that makes use of the SOCKS protocol instead of HTTP which makes it more suited for scenarios such as peer-to-peer communication. It’s also a good idea to look into how to configure an Dante proxy to connect privately using Ubuntu 20.04

Understanding Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy acts in the role of an intermediary for web servers, which handles the incoming requests of customers on behalf of the server. Web servers can comprise a single server, or a number of servers. It could also serve in the role of an application server, such as Gunicorn. In both cases, the request can originate from a user on the web at large. In most cases, the request is sent directly to the web server which has the resources that the customer requires. A reverse proxy acts as an intermediary to isolate your web server from interactions with the internet’s open.

From the perspective of a user, the experience when using reverse proxy is the same as communicating directly with your webserver. It is functionally identical, and the user is unable to discern the difference. Client requests a resource and then receives it, without any additional configuration required or input from the end user.

Reverse proxy providers offer features such as:

  • Security centralized on webservers.

  • Sending traffic to be directed according to the rules you set up.

  • New functionality added for caching.

While centralized security is an advantage of both reverse and forward proxy systems, reverse proxy providers this service to only the server layer and not to the layer that clients use. In lieu of the maintenance of firewalls at Web server layers, which may contain several servers that have different configurations, the majority of firewall security may be focused on the reverse proxy layer. Furthermore eliminating the burden of interfacing with firewalls and dealing with requests from clients far from web servers allows them to concentrate on meeting the requirements of their customers.

In the event of multiple servers in a reverse proxy,, the reverse proxy is also responsible to control which requests are placed on which server. There may be several web servers that provide the same service, serving various kinds of resources, or a mixture of both. They can utilize the HTTP protocol as a conventional web server, but can also be outfitted with application server protocols such as FastCGI. A reverse proxy is used to connect clients to specific servers based on the kind of resource they’re looking for, or to comply with specific rules regarding traffic load.

Reverse proxies benefit from their placement on top of web servers by offering the capability to store information. The large static file can also be set up using caching policies to stop hitting web servers on each request. Some solutions providing the option to serve static content directly without ever touching the web server at all. Furthermore reverse proxy is capable of the compression of these assets.

The popular Nginx web server can be described as a powerful reverse proxy option. It is real that Apache web server comes with a reverse proxy, however, it’s a separate function of Apache but Nginx was originally designed for and focuses on the reverse proxy function.

The distinction between Forward and Proxy Use Differentiating Forward Proxy and Reverse Proxy Use

Since “forward” in addition to “reverse” can be interpreted as directionality, they can be misleading when comparing “incoming” as well as “outgoing” traffic These labels are confusing because both types of proxies are capable of handling requests as well as responses. A better approach to differentiate between reverse and forward proxy is to research the requirements of the app that you’re developing.

Reverse proxy is an essential aspect to consider when developing a solution that can provide web-based applications via the internet. They function as servers when you interact using the internet.

A forward proxy is useful when placed in front of people for personal use, or in a corporate setting. They represent your clients when you interact with the internet.

The use case-based differentiation instead of focusing solely on similar naming conventions will help you avoid confusion.


The article explained what a proxy is along with the two types of them: forward and reverse proxy. Practical application scenarios as well as an examination of useful features was used to differentiate between reverse and forward proxies. If you’re keen to learn more about the advantages of proxies, you can read our tutorial on how to configure Nginx as an reverse proxy and internet server to Apache using an Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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