3 Ways to Guard Against Proxy Sites

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An proxy is also referred to for its role as a proxy. is software that acts as an intermediary between a client and server on the internet. If there was no proxy in place, the user could send a request for anything directly to the server, and servers would provide any requested resources directly to the client. While this approach is straightforward to grasp and use however, the addition of proxy servers can offer advantages including increased performance, privacy, security, and so on. As an additional layer of security proxy servers act as a gatekeeper for the internet, separating clients from servers.

There is a general consensus that the servers that are equipped with proxy software is often called proxy servers. However, this article will focus on proxies traditionally defined as software, and specifically in relation to servers on the internet. We will give a synopsis of the two primary types of proxy services which are forward proxy and a reverse proxy. Each type has a different usage, which can be confusing because of the same namestamp.

This article will provide you with an understanding of what proxies and their subtypes, and their value for common setups. By reading this article, you’ll be able to know the scenarios where you could benefit from a proxy and decide on the appropriate option between reverse proxy and forward proxy in any given situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

Forward proxy also referred to as the open proxy is a proxy for users who wish to send a request via the internet to a source server. In this scenario, every request made by the client will be directed via the forward proxy. A forward proxy acting in place of the client will look into the request. It first will determine if the client is allowed to accept requests via this particular forward proxy. Then, it can either refuse the request or forward it to the server from which it originated. The client will not be able to have an internet connection directly. it can only be allowed access to the information that the forward proxy allows its access.

The most common applications for forward proxy servers is greater security or privacy on the internet. Forward proxy connects to the internet in lieu of a specific client and may use a different IP address, in contrast to the IP address that is used by the user.

Depending on how it’s configured, based on the way it’s set up forward proxy could provide many features that allow you to:

  • Beware of tracking ads.

  • Circumvent surveillance.

  • Determine restrictions based on location.

Forward proxies can also be used in systems that provide central security and permit-based access, like in a workplace. In the event that all internet traffic flows through an open forward proxy layer, an administrator is able to allow only specific clients access to the internet. The web is filtered by an common firewall. Instead of having firewalls for the client layer that could include multiple machines with different user configurations, firewalls could be placed at the proxy layer that is in front.

Keep in mind that forward proxy servers must be set up manually for be used, while reverse proxies can be disregarded in the eyes of the user. According to the kind of IP address the client, it is transmitted to the server that originated it via the forward proxy privacy and security may either be provided or rendered clear.

There are a myriad of possibilities to consider for forward proxy:

  • Apache is a well-known open source web server which provides forward proxy capabilities.

  • Nginx is another well-known open-source webserver which has forward proxy functionality.

  • Squid: A free and open source forward proxy that utilizes the HTTP protocol. This option doesn’t include the entire web server. We recommend you read our guide on the best way to set up Squid proxy to allow private connections in Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Dante is a forward proxy that uses the SOCKS protocol instead of HTTP this allows it to be more suitable for scenarios like peer-to-peer communication. It is also possible to learn how to set up the Dante proxy to allow connection to private networks in Ubuntu 20.04

Understanding Reverse Proxies

Reverse proxy is a web server, which takes care of the requests of customers on behalf of the server. This server can serve as a one server, or a number of servers. Additionally, it can comprise an application server, such as Gunicorn. In any of these situations, a request would come via the web at large. Most of the time the request will be sent directly to the web server along with all the information the client requires. A reverse proxy serves as an intermediary and separates your website server from communicating with the web’s public.

From the point of the client’s point of reverse proxy is not any different than connecting to an internet server direct. It’s functionally identical, however the client isn’t able to discern the distinction. The client asks for the resource, and receives it without any additional configuration needed on the part of the client.

Reverse proxies provide various features, including:

  • A centralized layer of security to guard the server.

  • Controlling traffic inbound using rules that you set up.

  • A new feature for caching has been added.

Although central security is a benefit of both reverse and forward proxy solutions, reverse proxies give this feature to the server layer, it is not available to the client layer. instead of the maintenance of firewalls on the server level that could contain multiple servers with different configurations, the bulk of firewall security is concentrated on the reverse proxy layer. Additionally, removing the burden of interacting with firewalls as well as interacting with requests from clients not connected to web servers permits them to concentrate solely on delivering the requirements of their customers.

In the event of multiple servers being hosted through reverse proxy the reverse proxy handles the routing of requests towards the server that is hosting them. There could be multiple web servers serving the same resource, serving various kinds of resources, or a mix of both. They can utilize an HTTP protocol to function as a normal web server, however they can additionally include applications server protocols like FastCGI. You can set up reverse proxy that routes clients to particular servers according to the requested resource, or to observe certain guidelines for traffic load.

Reverse proxies also can benefit from their position before web servers by offering the ability to cache. Large static assets can be set with caching rules that prevent getting to web servers for every request. There are solutions that offer the option of serving static content directly without having to connect with the webserver in any way. Furthermore, reverse proxy can help compress these assets.

The well-known Nginx webserver is known as a well-known reverse proxy choice. It is true that it is true that the Apache web server is able to use a reverse proxy capabilities as an added feature for Apache However, Nginx was originally designed to and focuses on the reverse proxy feature.

Differentiating Forward Proxy and Reverse Proxy Examples

Because “forward” and “reverse” are associated with an impression of directionality and misleading comparisons with “incoming” or “outgoing” traffic could be confusing because both kinds of proxies handle requests and responses. A better approach to differentiate between reverse and forward proxy servers is to study the requirements of the app you’re creating.

Reverse proxy is a crucial feature in the development of a method to run web-based applications via the internet. They serve as servers whenever you connect to the Internet.

Forward proxy can be useful to display customers’ information for your own use, or for use in a working environment. They are a way to display the information of your client when you connect to the internet.

A distinction based upon use case rather than focusing only on naming conventions that are similar will make it easier to avoid confusion.

Conclusion

The article clarified definition of a proxy, with two kinds of proxy being the reverse and forward proxy. Practical applications as well as an exploration of the beneficial attributes were utilized to identify forward proxies and reverse proxy. If you’re interested in exploring the use of proxy servers, you can read our guide on how to set up Nginx as an internet server as well as reverse proxy on Apache on Ubuntu 20.04 Server. Ubuntu 20.04 Server.

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