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Who Is Proxy Sites?

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proxy or proxy is commonly referred to by the name of a proxy, a software that acts in the middle between client and server on the internet. Without proxy, a user would make a request any resource directly to the server, and then the server would deliver the requested resource directly to the user. While this is a simple method to comprehend and utilize, however, the addition proxy servers may provide benefits in terms of more performance, privacy and security, and much more. In addition to providing a layer of security the proxy also acts as a gatekeeper for the internet between clients and servers.

In general, the combined package of server hardware along with installed proxy software is also often referred to as a proxy server. For this post, we will concentrate on proxies that are typically classified as software, and in connection with web server. The article will give a detailed breakdown of the two main types of proxies. These are the forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each one has its own use scenario, which is often confused due to the overlap in name convention.

This article will provide you with some understanding about what proxy servers and their subtypes are and the ways they can be beneficial in a range of configurations. Through this article, you’ll learn to identify situations in which it is beneficial to use a proxy and then make the best option between reverse and forward proxy for any particular circumstance.

Understanding Forward Proxies

A forward proxy, also known in the form of an open proxy serves as an agent for a user who is trying to connect via the internet to a source server. In this situation, any attempt to send a request by the client will be sent through an forward proxy. This forward proxy acting in the client’s stead will review the request. It first decides if the client is authorized to receive requests from this particular forward proxy. Then, it will either deny requests or redirect it to the server that originated it. It’s not able to directly connect directly to internet. It is only able to access the information the forward proxy permits it access to.

A typical use of forward proxy is the need for greater security or privacy when online. Forward proxy connects to the web as a user, and through this process, it uses an alternative IP address in addition to the client’s IP address.

Depending on how it’s been configured in accordance with the method it was set up, forward proxy may offer a range of features, allowing users to:

  • Beware of tracking ads.

  • Circumvent surveillance.

  • You can identify limitations based on your geographic location.

Forward proxies are also employed in systems to give central security and access through permissions, such as in a workplace. The entire internet can go via an open forward proxy. administrators are able to grant access to specific individuals to access the web. This is then filtered by the standard firewall. Instead of maintaining firewalls on this layer of client, this can be utilized by a variety of computer systems with different settings and users, a firewall could be placed in this forward proxy layer.

Be aware that forward proxies require manual setup in order to allow them to be used however reverse proxies won’t be detected by the user. Based on the fact that your IP address a client is transmitted to the original server through forward proxy Privacy and anonymity may be granted or kept secret.

There are numerous alternatives to think about when it comes to forward proxy services.

  • Apache: A popular open-source webserver that provides forward proxy capabilities.

  • Nginx: Another well-known open source web server that has forward proxy capabilities.

  • Squid: An open source forward proxy which utilizes the HTTP protocol. It isn’t part of the complete web server. We have a step-by-step guide to setup Squid proxy to allow secure connections on Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Dante Forward proxy that uses the SOCKS protocol instead of HTTP which makes it more suitable for situations such as peer-to-peer traffic. You could also examine the steps to install the Dante proxy that allows private connections to Ubuntu 20.04

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy acts as an intermediary to web servers, which handles any requests that come in from clients its place. This server can serve as a one server, or multiple servers. It could also comprise an application server, like Gunicorn. In any case it is possible to get the request of a customer through the internet at large. In most cases the request will be sent directly to the server hosting the information the client is asking for. Instead, a reverse proxy works as an intermediary in order to block your server from communications with the internet’s public.

From a consumer’s point of viewpoint, or a user’s viewpoint, interfacing using reverse proxy is not different from connecting to the server in its own. It’s basically the same as the web server, and the client is unable discern the distinction. The client can request the resource and receive it, without any extra configuration required from the user.

Reverse proxies grant features like:

  • Security centralized to web server.

  • Directing incoming traffic by using rules that you create.

  • A new feature for caching has been added.

While centralized security is an advantage of both forward and reverse proxy systems, reverse proxies provide this service to the web server layer, but not the layer of clients. Instead of implementing firewalls at the web servers which might include multiple servers that have different configurations, the bulk of firewall security is located at that layer called reverse proxy. Furthermore, removing the obligation of connecting to a firewall and interacting with requests from clients that do not use web servers lets them focus on meeting the requirements of their customers.

In the case of multiple servers hosting through reverse proxy the reverse proxy is responsible for directing the requests towards which servers. Multiple web servers could be offering the identical service, however each having different resources, or perhaps a mix of both. They can use the HTTP protocol in the same way as a traditional web server however, they could also be outfitted with protocols for application servers like FastCGI. You can set up reverse proxy that directs clients to an individual server based on the requested resource or to adhere to certain rules for traffic load.

Reverse proxy solutions also benefit from their positioning on the web servers with caching capabilities. Large static assets can be set up with caching rules in order to prevent hitting web servers every time you request. Some applications allow users to serve static content directly, without needing to connect to the web server in any way. Additionally, the reverse proxy can be used to compress these assets.

The well-known Nginx web server also functions as a popular reverse proxy service. While it’s true that the Apache web server does have reverse proxy features but it’s a different option. Apache in contrast to Nginx was initially designed and focused on reverse proxy functionality.

Differentiating Forward Proxy from reverse Proxy Use Situations

Because “forward” and “reverse” are both associated with an impression of directionality, they can lead to misleading comparisons to “incoming” and “outgoing” traffic. The labels are confusing because both kinds of proxies handle the flow of requests as well as responses. A better approach to distinguish between forward and reverse proxy services is to take into account the requirements of the application you’re creating.

Reverse proxy is an essential aspect when developing an infrastructure to connect web applications to the internet. They serve as your web servers in any interaction with the internet.

Forward proxy applications can be useful when they are put in front of customers for personal use, or even in a working environment. They are a representation of your client’s traffic as you interact on the internet.

A case-based approach to differentiation instead of focusing solely on naming conventions that are commonplace can ensure that you don’t become confused.


The article outlined what an “proxy” is with the two main types of them being the reverse and forward proxies. Practical applications and a review of beneficial features were utilized to distinguish between forward proxy from reverse proxy. If you’re considering how to set up proxies, read our guide on how to set up Nginx as a web server and reverse proxy to Apache on an Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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