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The Secret Life Of Proxy Sites

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The word “proxy” refers to a proxy or proxy server, a software which serves to act as an intermediary for a client and a server on the internet. Without the use of proxy, a user can send a request directly to a server and the server would provide the requested resource directly for the client. This method is simple to comprehend and utilize, using proxies has benefits like improved performance, privacy, security, and many more. As a further layer of pass-through, the proxy functions as a security guardian of the internet between clients and servers.

Generally speaking, the combined system of server hardware coupled with the installed proxy software is also often referred too as proxy servers. This article will focus on the types of proxies that are typically thought as software, and specifically with regard with web server. The article will provide an explanation of the two main types of proxies, which are forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each type has a distinct usage scenario, which is often misunderstood due to the overlapping terminology.

This article will provide you with the information on the types of proxy and what their subtypes are and the way they work in various configurations. In this article, you’ll be able to identify situations in which the use of proxies is advantageous, and select the best option between forward proxy and reverse proxy in any circumstance.

Understanding Forward Proxies

A forward proxy, sometimes referred to as an open proxy, is a means of intermediary for clients trying to send a request over the internet to an source server. In this case, the entire process of sending requests made by the user is sent through the forward proxy. The forward proxy, acting in place of the client, will examine at the request. At the beginning, it will decide if this client can accept requests through this specific forward proxy. It will then reject requests or redirect them to the origin server. The client isn’t allowed directly access to internet. It has access to only what the forward proxy permits it to access.

The most common reason for using forward proxies is to gain greater privacy or security on the internet. A forward proxy accesses the internet as a client and it can use an alternative IP address that is different to the client’s original IP address.

Based on how it’s been configured according to the way it was configured, a forward proxy could offer a range of features and allow you to:

  • Do not click on ads that track you.

  • Circumvent surveillance.

  • Find restrictions based on your geolocation.

Forward proxies are also employed in systems that rely on central security and permission-based access like in workplaces. If all internet traffic flows via an open forward proxy administrators are able to grant access to only a few individuals to access the web. This is blocked by a common firewall. Instead of creating firewalls for the client layer, which could be used by multiple computer systems with different configurations and environment, the firewall may be set up at the layer that forwards proxy traffic.

It is crucial to keep in mind that forward proxies must be manually configured for use and reverse proxies could be ignored by the client. Depending on the type of the IP address that a user is sent to the server where it originated by the forward proxy, privacy and anonymity could be granted or not.

There are several options to think about for forward proxy possibilities:

  • Apache An open-source, well-known web server, that can provide forward proxy features.

  • Nginx: Another well-known open-source server for hosting websites with forward proxy features.

  • Squid: An open-source forward proxy using the HTTP protocol. It’s not the entire web server system. It is possible to refer to our step-by-step instructions to set up Squid proxy to permit private connections in Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Dante Forward Proxy which uses the SOCKS protocol instead of HTTP this allows it to be better suited for usage in scenarios such as peer-to-peer traffic. You might also want to know how to configure a Dante proxy to connect privately in Ubuntu 20.04

Understanding Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy serves as an intermediary to web servers, which handles the incoming requests of customers on its behalf. This server can function as a one server, or as a series of servers. It could also serve as an application server, such as Gunicorn. In any event it is possible to send a request via the internet at large. Typically the request would go directly to the server and include the information the user wants. The reverse proxy serves as an intermediary protecting the web server from direct contact via the web’s public.

From the consumer’s point view the experience of interacting with reverse proxy isn’t a lot different from working with the server itself. It’s the same, but clients aren’t able discern the difference. Clients can request the resource, and receive it, with no further configuration required by the client.

Reverse proxy providers can provide features such as:

  • Secured centrally for Web Server Layer.

  • The direction of traffic coming in is by rules you have set.

  • The caching feature is now available to users.

While central security is a benefit of both forward and reverse proxy servers, reverse proxies offer this service to the web server layer, but not to the client layer. Instead of maintaining firewalls on Web server layers, which could comprise multiple servers with various configurations, the majority of the firewall security is concentrated at the reverse proxy layer. Furthermore eliminating the responsibility of working with firewalls and responding to requests from clients that are not on web servers allows them to concentrate on the needs of their customers.

If there are multiple servers operating through a reverse proxy the reverse proxy is responsible for directing which requests go to which server. There may be several web servers that provide the identical service, but each providing different types of resource or a combination of both. These servers can be using the HTTP protocol to function as a traditional web server. However, they can include other protocols for application servers such as FastCGI. You can configure reverse proxy settings to send visitors to specific server depending on the service requested or to adhere to specific rules for traffic load.

Reverse proxies are also able to gain advantage from their position prior to web servers by providing the ability to cache information. Large static assets can be set using caching rules, so that they avoid websites from getting hit with every request. Some solutions allowing you to provide static files directly and without having to connect with the server. In addition, the reverse proxy could manage the compression of these assets.

The well-known Nginx web server also serves as an effective reverse proxy option. Although the Apache web server with reverse proxy capabilities as an alternative option for Apache however Nginx was initially designed and specifically designed for reverse proxy features.

Differentiating Between Forward and Reverse Proxy Examples

Since “forward” and “reverse” have connotations of directionality, and false connections with “incoming” as well as “outgoing” traffic, these labels could be confusing as both kinds of proxy are able to handle requests and responses. A different method of distinguishing between reverse and forward proxy is to look at the specifications of the application that you are creating.

Reverse proxy could be beneficial when designing an infrastructure to support web applications on the internet. They are your web servers for all interactions on the internet.

Forward proxy can be beneficial when placed in front of customers for personal use, or in a corporate environment. They are a representation of the customer’s data every time you use the internet.

The ability to differentiate by the use of case instead of focusing solely on standard naming conventions can assist you in making sure that there is no confusion.


The article explained the meaning of a proxy that has two kinds: the forward proxy and reverse proxy. Examples of practical use as well as an examination of the most useful attributes were used to identify the two kinds of proxy which are reverse and forward. If you’re looking to know more about the advantages of proxies, we recommend that you go through our guide on how to configure Nginx for use as a web server and reverse proxy on Apache using an Ubuntu 20.04 Server.

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