Your Weakest Link: Use It To Proxy Sites

An proxy, also called a proxy server software acts as an intermediary between server and user on the internet. With no proxy in place, a client could send a request to a source directly through a server and the server would then serve the requested resource directly back to the user. Although this method is easy to understand and implement but the addition of proxies can bring benefits such as improved performance and security, privacy, and more. As an additional layer of pass-through, the proxy serves as a security guardian of the internet between servers and clients.

In general, the mixture of the server’s hardware with proxy software is often referred too as proxy servers. This article will concentrate on proxies that are traditionally described as software and in the context of web servers. This article will provide an in-depth breakdown of two kinds: forward proxy and reverse proxy. reverse proxy. Each type has its own usage scenario, and is frequently misunderstood because of the identical terms.

This article will provide information about the different types of proxy services, what their subtypes are, and how they function with a range of configurations. After reading this article, you will be able to recognize the circumstances in which the use of proxies is advantageous and pick the most appropriate solution for reverse or forward proxy depending on the situation.

Understanding Forward Proxies

The forward proxy sometimes called an open proxy acts as a representative for a user who wishes to make an internet-based request to an the server that originated it. In this situation, the entire process of sending requests from the user will be made through the forward proxy. A forward proxy, acting in place of the client will take a look into the request. Then, it will determine if this client is authorized to send requests using this specific forward proxy. It then decides whether to refuse any request or to forward it to the source server. The client is not able to have direct connection for the web. It is able to access only the content that the forward proxy allows the client to connect.

One of the most popular uses for forward proxies is increased privacy or security when using the internet. Forward proxy is able to access the internet instead of a client. in this way it may use an alternative IP address to the IP address that was originally used by the client.

Depending on how it’s been configured, based on the way it is configured forward proxy can provide you with different features based on the configuration it, allowing you to:

  • Do not be a victim of ad tracking.

  • Circumvent surveillance.

  • Recognize restrictions based on geographical location.

Forward proxies are also used to secure systems that are centralised as well as permission-based access in workplaces. If all internet traffic flows through an open forward proxy the administrator can grant only a small number of clients connection to internet through the common firewall. Instead of creating firewalls for the client layer, which can comprise a variety of devices that operate in various environments and users, a firewall could be placed at the intermediate layer of forward proxy.

It is important to remember that forward proxy servers must be manually set up for use, whereas reverse proxies can not be noticed by the user. Depending on the type of the IP address that a user is transferred to the server that is originally via forward proxy Privacy and anonymity can be granted or denied.

There are numerous options to consider for forward proxy services.

  • Apache An open source well-known web server that provides forward proxy capabilities.

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

  • Squid is a free forward proxy using the HTTP protocol. It doesn’t provide the complete web server. You can read our article on the best way to create Squid proxy for private connections within Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Dante is forward proxy which uses the SOCKS protocol instead of HTTP and HTTP making it more suitable for applications such as peer-to -peer traffic. It is also possible to learn how to set up Dante proxy to permit private connections in Ubuntu 20.04

Understanding Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy functions as an agent for a web server that handles incoming requests from clients on its behalf. Web servers can comprise a server, or multiple servers. It could also be an application-server, such as Gunicorn. In any of these scenarios the request will be made via the internet at large. Most of the time requests will then be made directly to the web server along with the resources the user is seeking. A reverse proxy serves as an intermediary, separating this webserver from direct communication with the internet.

From the viewpoint of a user, the experience of using a reverse proxy is no different than connecting to an internet server directly. It’s functionally the same however the user is unable to see the distinction. The client asks for an item and receives it, without any additional configuration required from the client.

Reverse proxies can provide features such as:

  • Security centralized to web server.

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

  • New feature added to caching.

While centralized security can be an advantage of both forward and reverse proxy servers, reverse proxies provide this benefit only to that layer on the webserver, not clients. instead of the maintenance of firewalls in the layer of web servers which could contain multiple servers and different configurations, the majority in firewall protection is aimed to the reverse proxy layer. Furthermore, the removal of the burden of interacting with a firewall and communicating with requests from clients via web servers allows them to concentrate on serving the requirements of their clients.

If there are multiple servers running reverse-proxies, the reverse proxy also handles the direction that requests are directed towards which servers. Multiple web servers may be operating on the same server, each providing different types of resources or a mix of the two. They can use the HTTP protocol like a traditional web server, but they could also be outfitted with applications server protocols, like FastCGI. You can create a reverse proxy that directs visitors to specific server based on the service requested, or to adhere to a set of rules for the traffic load.

Reverse proxies can also benefit by being placed over web servers by providing the ability to cache. The large static resources can be configured by using caching rules in order to avoid having to contact web servers each time you request. Certain solutions allow you to directly serve static content without having to communicate with the webserver even once. Additionally the reverse proxy is able to handle the compression of these assets.

The popular Nginx web server is also used as an extremely popular reverse proxy option. Even though Apache is also a reverse proxy solution it is not the only one. Apache web server also comes with reverse proxy features however, it’s a separate feature available to Apache as opposed to Nginx was originally designed to and focuses specifically on reverse proxy features.

Differentiating Forward Proxy and reverse Proxy Use The Case

Since “forward” as well as “reverse” are associated with a sense of directionality and false comparisons with “incoming” as well as “outgoing” traffic, the labels could be confusing as both kinds of proxies handle the processing of requests as well as responses. The best method to distinguish between forward and reverse proxy providers is to consider the needs of the application you’re developing.

A reverse proxy is useful when building a solution to provide web-based applications over the internet. They serve as your web servers for any interaction you make on the web.

Forward proxy are beneficial when they are placed in front of users for personal use or in a workplace setting. They represent your client’s activity when you use the internet.

Separating by use case rather than just focusing on the most standard naming conventions can help ensure that you aren’t confused.


This article will explain the significance of a proxy with the two primary types, which are the forward proxy and reverse proxy. Practical examples of how to use them and an overview of useful features were utilized to distinguish forward proxies from reverse proxy. If you’re interested to learn more about the possibilities of proxies, then you should read our tutorial for configuring Nginx as a web server and reverse proxy within Apache on one Ubuntu 20.04 server.

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