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The phrase “proxy” refers to a proxy or proxy server is software that acts as a mediator between client and server via the internet. Without the aid of a proxy, a user could make a request for the resource directly to a server, and then the server would deliver the requested resource directly to the user. Although this method is easy to understand and apply using proxies, it can provide advantages in terms of enhanced performance and privacy, security and many more. In addition, a pass-through a proxy serves as a security safeguard for the internet between clients and servers.

In general, the mixture of the server’s hardware as well as proxy software is often known as proxy servers. This article will focus on proxies that are traditionally described as software, as well as being used in conjunction with web servers. The article will provide an explanation of two main types: that is a forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each kind has its own unique usage situation, and is frequently misunderstood due to the similar namesake convention.

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This article will provide the basics of what subtypes and proxies can do and how they can do in the typical configurations. After having read this article, you’ll be able to identify the instances where using proxies can be advantageous and select the best option between reverse proxy and forward proxy in any given situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

Forward proxy sometimes known as open proxy. An open proxy is an agent for a user who is trying to send an internet request to an source server. In this instance, the entire effort to send requests from the client is sent via the forward proxy. Forward proxy acting in place of the client will scrutinize the request. It will first determine whether it is legal for the user to make requests through this specific forward proxy. It then decides whether to reject requests or redirect them to the original server. The client doesn’t have a direct connection to the internet. It can access only what forward proxy allows it to connect to.

The primary reason for people for using forward proxy is for greater privacy or security on the internet. A forward proxy links to the internet instead of the client, and in this way, it is using an IP address distinct from the IP address of the client.

Based on how it was set up the forward proxy will offer a variety of functions depending on the configuration that lets you:

  • Beware of ad-tracker.

  • Circumvent surveillance.

  • Find restrictions that are based on the location you are in.

Forward proxies may also be used in systems that provide central security and access based on permissions like in workplaces. If all traffic on the internet flows via an open forward proxy the administrator can limit access to a limited number of users to the internet, which is filtered by the common firewall. Instead of establishing firewalls at the client layer, which may include multiple devices with different settings and users the firewall could be installed at the layer that forwards proxy traffic.

Take note that forward proxy servers must be manually set up for use, and reverse proxies can be ignored from the clients. Based on the type of IP address the user, it is sent to the server which originated it by the forward proxy privacy and anonymity may be granted or hidden.

There are a variety of possibilities to consider when it comes to forward proxy alternatives:

  • Apache is an well-known open-source web server that offers forward proxy capabilities.

  • Nginx is another well-known open-source web server that comes with forward proxy capabilities.

  • Squid is an open-source forward proxy that utilizes the HTTP protocol. It doesn’t come with the complete Web server. We’ve got a guide on how to set up Squid proxy to enable private connections within Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Dante Forward proxy that utilizes the SOCKS protocol instead of HTTP which makes it more suited for scenarios such as peer-to-peer traffic. It is also possible to understand how to set up Dante proxy to allow private connections on Ubuntu 20.04

Understanding Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy acts as an agent for a server on the internet that manages requests from customers on behalf of. The web server could be a single server or a number of servers. It may also act in the role of an application server for instance Gunicorn. The request will be sent via the internet in general. In the majority of cases the request will be sent directly to the server hosting the information that the user is looking for. A reverse proxy serves as an intermediary, detaching this webserver from direct connections with the open internet.

From the viewpoint of a user the experience of working with reverse proxy is not different from interacting with the webserver in direct contact. It’s basically the same however the client cannot discern the distinction. The client sends an order for an item and receives it, with no additional configuration needed by the client.

Reverse proxy providers provide features like:

  • Security centralized for web servers.

  • It is the direction in which traffic that is incoming based on rules that you can set up.

  • The caching feature was added to the application.

Although central security is an advantage of both reverse and forward proxy servers, reverse proxy services provide this benefit only to the server layer, and not the layer of clients. instead of the maintenance of firewalls on the layer of web servers that may contain multiple servers that have different configurations, the majority of firewall security is concentrated in the reverse proxy layer. In addition, the ease of interacting with firewalls and interacting with requests from clients without web servers lets them concentrate on the requirements of their clients.

If there are multiple servers operating in a reverse proxy, the reverse proxy also is accountable for directing which requests are directed towards which servers. There may be several web servers providing the exact identical service, however each offering different kinds of resources, or a mix of both. They can use the HTTP protocol to operate as a normal web server, but they may also be equipped with applications server protocols such as FastCGI. You can create a reverse proxy to direct users to specific servers according to the requested resource, or to adhere to certain guidelines regarding the amount of traffic.

Reverse proxies also benefit from their positioning on top of web servers, as they have the ability to store information. Massive static resources can be configured with caching rules to avoid the web server from being hit with each request. Some applications allow the delivery of static files directly without having to connect to a web server in any way. Additionally, reverse proxy is able to handle compressing these assets.

The popular Nginx web server can also function as an extremely popular reverse proxy service. Although Apache is also a reverse proxy solution but it is not a reverse proxy solution. Apache web server also has reverse proxy capability as an added option for Apache and Nginx was originally designed and is focused specifically on reverse proxy features.

Differentiating Between Forward and Reverse Proxy Examples

Because “forward” as well as “reverse” are both associated with a sense of directionality, and false comparisons to “incoming” as well as “outgoing” traffic can be confusing because both kinds of proxy servers handle requests and responses. A better approach to distinguish between forward and reverse proxy is to consider the requirements of the app you’re creating.

A reverse proxy can be beneficial in the creation of a system to deliver web-based applications over the internet. They act as your web server when you interact on the web.

Forward proxy can be beneficial when it is put in front of clients for personal use, or in a workplace. Forward proxy is a representation of your client’s traffic when you interact with the internet.

The use of case-based distinction rather than focusing on the most common naming conventions can help in avoidance of confusion.


In this article, we clarified the definition of a proxy by comparing the two main types: the forward proxy and the reverse proxy. Practical examples of use and a discussion of most beneficial features were used to distinguish between reverse and forward proxies. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits in proxy server, learn how to set up Nginx as an internet proxy and reverse proxy for Apache on Ubuntu 20.04. Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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