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“proxy” refers to a proxy server “proxy” refers to proxy servers. A proxy or proxy server is an application that acts in the middle between client and server on the internet. Without a proxy, a client would send a request for any source direct to a server, and it would deliver the resource directly for the client. This is not difficult to understand and implement. using proxies can provide benefits through improved security, performance, privacy as well as many other benefits. As a pass-through layer, proxies serve as a security barrier on the internet between clients and servers.

It is generally accepted that the set of server hardware along with the software that is installed to make proxy connections is often described as proxy servers. However, this article will concentrate on proxy servers which are generally described in terms of software and the ones used in conjunction with web servers. The article will offer a description of the two major kinds, namely forward proxy and reverse proxy. forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each kind has its own terminology that could be confusing because of the overlap in terminology.

This article will give you an idea of the proxy types and their subtypes and also their significance in normal setups. After reading this article, you’ll be able to identify situations where an effective proxy is advantageous, and decide on the most suitable choice between reverse proxy and forward proxy for any situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

Also forward proxy, also known as or an open proxy is an agent for an individual user trying to send requests online to an server. In this case, any attempt to send requests made by the user will be directed by the forward proxy. In this situation the forward proxy, acting in the client’s stead will examine the request. At first it will determine if clients are authorized make requests through this specific forward proxy. It will then either reject requests or redirect them to their origin server. The client is not able to have direct access to the internet; it has access only to what forward proxy allows it to connect to.

The primary reason for people for using forward proxy servers is more privacy or protection on the internet. A forward proxy connects to the internet for an individual client, and in this way it could make use of an IP address that is different from the IP address of the client.

Depending on how it’s been set up, a forward proxy can perform a variety of features and the capability to:

  • Beware of ad-tracker.

  • Circumvent surveillance.

  • You can determine restrictions based upon your location.

Forward proxies also are used in systems to provide central security, as well as permission-based access, for example, in a workplace. When all traffic on the internet flows through the common forward proxy, the administrator are able to restrict only a small number of users connection to internet, which is then filtered by a common firewall. Instead of establishing firewalls for the client layer, which can be used by multiple computer that have different configurations, users and environments the firewall can be added to the forward proxy layer.

Remember that forward proxy servers need to be manually setup before they are able to be used while reverse proxy servers could be disregarded by clients. Based on whether or not the IP address of the client is transferred to the server that is being used by the forward proxy, privacy and anonymity may be granted or kept secret.

There are many choices to consider when it comes to forward proxy options.

  • Apache The Apache is a popular open-source web server, which provides forward proxy capabilities.

  • Nginx: Another popular open-source webserver that comes with forward proxy capability.

  • Squid is an open-source forward proxy that uses the HTTP protocol. Squid doesn’t have the full web server system. You can check out our guide on the best method to install Squid proxy to connect private networks in Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Dante forward proxy which runs on the SOCKS protocol instead of HTTP this makes it better suitable for situations such as peer-to-peer connections. You can also research how to set up Dante proxy to allow private connections in Ubuntu 20.04

Understanding Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy functions to act as an agent of a web server and handles requests made by customers on its behalf. This web server can serve as a one server or multiple servers. Additionally, it can contain an application server such as Gunicorn. In either case, a request could come from a user on the internet at large. Typically, the request will be sent directly to the server on the internet that has the information the user is seeking. A reverse proxy acts as an intermediary, isolating the web server from direct interaction with the internet’s open.

From the perspective of the user, working with reverse proxy isn’t different from interacting via direct connection to an internet server. It’s the same thing but the client doesn’t see the difference. The client asks for a resource and then receives it, without any extra configuration required for the customer.

Reverse proxy providers provide features like:

  • Centralized security for web servers.

  • Incoming traffic is directed according to rules that you can set up.

  • Additional functionality for caching.

While central security is a benefit of both reverse and forward proxy, reverse proxies add this feature only to the layer that is on the webserver and not the client layer. In lieu of maintaining firewalls at the server layer, that could include several servers with various configurations, the bulk of firewall security could be directed at the reverse proxy layer. Furthermore, taking the burden of interacting with firewalls and communicating with requests by clients away from web servers allows firewalls to focus on providing resources.

If there are multiple servers operating in a reverse proxy, the reverse proxy can also be in charge of directing which requests go towards which servers. There could be multiple web servers running on the same server, each serving various kinds of resources or a combination of the two. The servers employ the HTTP protocol to function as an ordinary web server. They can also be equipped with applications server protocols like FastCGI. It is possible to set up a reverse proxy to route the clients to specific servers in accordance with the resource requested or to comply with certain rules regarding the traffic load.

Reverse proxies also have the ability to make use of their position before web servers through caching capabilities. The large static files can be set up using caching rules to avoid the web server from being hit with every request, with certain options that let you serve static content directly without having to connect to a web server in any way. Furthermore reverse proxy can be capable of handling compression of these assets.

The well-known Nginx web server can also function as an effective reverse proxy option. Even though Apache is also a reverse proxy solution and the Apache webserver also has reverse proxy capabilities, and can be a second option for Apache however Nginx was originally designed to and focuses on reverse proxy capabilities.

Distinguishing Forward and Reverse Proxy Use Cases

Because “forward” or “reverse” are associated with the notion of directionality and false comparisons to “incoming” or “outgoing” traffic the labels can be confusing as both types of proxies can manage both requests and responses. The best method of separating the reverse as well as forward proxy services is to consider the requirements of the app that you’re developing.

A reverse proxy can be helpful when you are developing a solution to serve websites on the internet. They serve as your web servers in any interactions through the Internet.

A forward proxy is useful when used in front of customers for your own usage, or even in a corporate setting. They represent your clients for any interaction on the internet.

A case-based distinction instead of focusing on common naming conventions will help you in making sure that there is no confusion.

4.8. Proxy Printers


This article explains what a “proxy” is with the two major types of proxies being the forward proxy and reverse proxy. Practical scenarios for its use as well as an examination of the useful features were used to distinguish different types of proxies that are reverse and forward. If you’re looking for ways to make proxies work, read our tutorial on how to configure Nginx as a web server and reverse proxy on Apache on one Ubuntu 20.04 Server.

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