Eight Things A Child Knows About Proxy Sites That You Don’t

Eight Things A Child Knows About Proxy Sites That You Don’t

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A proxy, also called the software for proxy servers serves to act as a mediator between the server and client over the internet. With no proxy in place, a client could make a request a resource directly to a server, and the server would serve the requested resource directly back at the requester's. This is a simple method to comprehend and implement, using proxies provides advantages such as increased performance and security, privacy, and many more. As an additional pass-through layer the proxy acts as a guardian for the internet between clients and servers.

Generally speaking, the combined mixture of the server's hardware and proxy software is often called proxy servers. This article will concentrate on proxies which are generally classified as software in the context of web servers. This article will give an in-depth breakdown of two types: forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each kind has its own unique usage situation, and it is frequently not understood due to the similar terminology.

This article will give you details about the different types of proxy services, what their subtypes are and how they function in various configurations. After reading this article, you'll be able to identify the situations in which using proxy services is advantageous, and select the best option between reverse and forward proxy for any particular scenario.

Understanding Forward Proxies

The forward proxy sometimes called the open proxy acts as a representative for a client who wants to make an internet-based request to an the server that originated it. In this case, the entire process of sending requests from the user will be transmitted via the forward proxy. A forward proxy, acting in place of the client, will look into the request. It will then determine whether this client is authorized to transmit requests through this specific forward proxy. Then, it decides to reject any request, or forward it to the source server. The client is not able to have direct connection directly to internet. It can access only what forward proxy allows it to access.

A popular use for forward proxy is to provide greater privacy and security when surfing the internet. Forward proxy can access the internet instead of a client. by doing this it may utilize an IP address that is different from the IP address used by the client.

Depending on how it's been configured and how it's set up forward proxy could grant you various features depending on how it is configured, which allows you to:

  • Don't be a victim of ad-tracking.

  • Circumvent surveillance.

  • Be aware of restrictions based on the place of residence.

Forward proxies are also utilized to secure systems which are centralized as well as access that is permission-based for instance, such as at work. If all traffic on the internet passes through an open forward proxy, the administrator is able to permit only a few clients access to the internet filtered through the common firewall. Instead of establishing firewalls on the server layer which can comprise a variety of computers with different environments and types of users, a firewall could be positioned on top of this front proxy level.

It is important to remember that forward proxies must be manually set up in order to be used and reverse proxies may not be detected by the user. Depending on the type the IP address of a user is transferred to the server that is originally via forward proxy Privacy and anonymity could be granted or denied.

There are a variety of options to consider for forward proxies.

  • Apache An open source well-known web server, which offers forward proxy functions.

  • Nginx is another widely-used open-source web server with capability to use forward proxy.

  • Squid: A free forward proxy using an HTTP protocol. It doesn't provide the complete web server. Read our article on the best way to build a Squid proxy to connect privately on Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Dante is an forward proxy that uses the SOCKS protocol instead of HTTP and HTTP making it more suitable for usage scenarios such as peer-to-peer traffic. You can also check out how to set up Dante proxy to permit private connections on Ubuntu 20.04

Understanding Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy is a representative of a web server, which handles the incoming requests of clients on behalf of. The web server could comprise a server, or multiple servers. It could also be an application-server, such as Gunicorn. In either of these scenarios the request will be made via the web in general. In the majority of cases the request will be made directly to the webserver with the information the user seeks. A reverse proxy functions as an intermediary, isolating the webserver from direct interaction with the internet.

From the point of view of a user, the experience of using a reverse proxy is no different than communicating with an internet server direct. It's basically the same, but the client can't be able to discern the difference. The client requests an item and receives it, without any extra configuration required by the client.

Reverse proxies offer features like:

  • Security centralized to web server.

  • The direction of traffic coming in based on rules you set.

  • New caching functionality has been added.

While central security is a benefit of both forward and reverse proxy servers. However, reverse proxy providers provide this benefit only to the layer that is the webserver and not to clients. instead of the maintenance of firewalls at the web server layer which could contain multiple servers and various configurations, the bulk in firewall protection is aimed at the reverse proxy layer. Additionally, removing the responsibility of interfacing with firewalls and connecting with requests from customers through web servers allows them to concentrate solely on addressing the needs of their customers.

If there are multiple servers using a reverse-proxy the reverse proxy can also handle the direction that requests are directed to which servers. Multiple web servers may be operating from the same host, each providing different types of resources or a mix of both. They can use the HTTP protocol like a traditional web server, but they could also be outfitted with application server protocols such as FastCGI. You can set up a reverse proxy that directs users to a particular server according to the service required, or to a set of rules for the load of traffic.

Reverse proxies can also benefit by being placed on top of web servers by providing caching capabilities. Massive static files can be configured by using caching rules in order to avoid having to contact web servers every time. Certain solutions allow you to directly serve static content without having to connect with the webserver at all. Additionally the reverse proxy is able to handle the compression of these files.

The popular Nginx web server functions as a highly regarded reverse proxy solution. Even though Apache is a reverse proxy solution however, the Apache web server also has reverse proxy features however, it's an additional feature that is available to Apache unlike Nginx was initially designed for and focuses specifically on reverse proxy features.

Differentiating Forward Proxy from reverse Proxy Use

Since "forward" as well as "reverse" are both associated with an impression of directionality and false comparisons with "incoming" and "outgoing" traffic the names could be confusing because both kinds of proxies handle requests and responses. The best method to distinguish between forward and reverse proxy is to look at the requirements of the application you're developing.

A reverse proxy is a useful tool in the development of a solution to deliver web-based apps over the internet. They serve as your web servers for any interaction you make on the web.

Forward proxy is useful when put in front of users for personal use or in an office setting. They are a representation of the traffic of your client when you use the internet.

The practice of segregating by use case rather than just focusing on the most standard naming conventions can help ensure that you aren't confused.


This article provides the definition of a proxy using the two primary kinds, namely reverse proxy and forward proxy. Practical examples of use and a look at advantageous features were used to differentiate forward proxies and reverse proxies. If you're looking to know more about the advantages of proxies, you can check out our guide for configuring Nginx as a reverse and web server proxy in Apache on one Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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