Differences Between Forward Proxy and Reverse Proxy
There are mainly two types of proxy servers: forward proxy and reverse proxy. When people talk about proxy servers, most of the time they mean forward proxy.
Differences Between Forward Proxy and Reverse Proxy
The main difference between the two is that forward proxy is used by the client such as a web browser whereas reverse proxy is used by the server such as a web server. Forward proxy can reside in the same internal network as the client, or it can be on the Internet.
Forward proxy can be used by the client to bypass firewall restrictions in order to visit websites that are blocked by school, government, company etc. If a website blocked an IP range from visiting the website, then a person in that IP range can use forward proxy to hide the real IP of the client so that person can visit the website and maybe leave some spam comments. However forward proxy might be detected by the website administrator. There are some paid proxy services that has numerous proxy systems around the world so that they can change your IP address every time your visit a new web page and this makes it harder for website administrators to detect.
Forward proxy was very useful and popular in the 1990s. Before NAT is integrated into network routers, forward proxy is the way for multiple computers in the same network to access the Internet. This type of forward proxy usually resides in the internal network.
Forward proxy can also act as a cache server in an internal network. If a resource is downloaded many times, then the proxy can cache the content on the server so next time when another computer downloads the same content, the proxy will send the content that is previously stored on the server to the computer.
There’re many different kinds of forward proxy such as web proxy, HTTP proxy, SOCKS proxy etc. Please keep in mind that using a forward proxy to browse the Internet usually slows down your overall Internet speed. That depends on the location between your computer and the forward proxy and how many people are using that forward proxy.
Another thing to be aware of is that there’re many free forward proxies which are built by hackers for malicious purpose. If you happen to be using one of these proxies, they will log every activity you do on the Internet. So free in charge is actually very costly.
Reverse proxy is mainly used by server admins to achieve load balancing and high availability. A website may have several web servers behind the reverse proxy. The reverse proxy server takes requests from the Internet and forwards these requests to one of the back-end web servers. Most visitors don’t know websites are using reverse proxy because they usually lack the knowledge and tools to detect it or they simply don’t care about it.
Another use of a Reverse Proxy is to act as a secure portal, denying users on the internet direct access to back-end operating systems – i. e. the customer only ever talks to the proxy, the proxy talks to the back-end. Moderation based on destination URL and source IP can also be implemented with reverse proxy.
There are many reverse proxy software such as:
Nginx can act as a web server and a reverse proxy at the same time.
Apache can act as a web server and a reverse proxy at the same time.
HAProxy is a well-known, feature-rich, and open-source reverse proxy software.
As become more and more popular in the web development community due to its high performance, web developers often put the built-in web server behind another web server like Nginx, so Nginx is the reverse proxy. One example is the Ghost blogging platform.
As a matter of fact, if you want to run Apache and Nginx on the same host, you can use HAProxy to achieve that. HAProxy can also act as a reverse proxy for SMTP and IMAP traffic.
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The Difference Between Proxy and Reverse Proxy | strongDM
Many businesses use proxy servers to route and secure traffic between networks. There’s often confusion, however, on how this differs from a reverse proxy. In this post, we’ll dissect the two concepts and explain how administrators can use a reverse proxy for easy access management is a proxy server? A proxy server, sometimes referred to as a forward proxy, is a server that routes traffic between client(s) and another system, usually external to the network. By doing so, it can regulate traffic according to preset policies, convert and mask client IP addresses, enforce security protocols, and block unknown stems with shared networks, such as business organizations or data centers, often use proxy servers. Proxy servers expose a single interface with which clients interact without having to enforce all of the policies and route management logic within the clients is a reverse proxy? A reverse proxy is a type of proxy server. Unlike a traditional proxy server, which is used to protect clients, a reverse proxy is used to protect servers. A reverse proxy is a server that accepts a request from a client, forwards the request to another one of many other servers, and returns the results from the server that actually processed the request to the client as if the proxy server had processed the request itself. The client only communicates directly with the reverse proxy server and it does not know that some other server actually processed its request. A traditional forward proxy server allows multiple clients to route traffic to an external network. For instance, a business may have a proxy that routes and filters employee traffic to the public Internet. A reverse proxy, on the other hand, routes traffic on behalf of multiple servers. A reverse proxy effectively serves as a gateway between clients, users, and application servers. It handles all the access policy management and traffic routing, and it protects the identity of the server that actually processes the verse proxy configurationBy routing client traffic through a reverse proxy, admins can simplify security administration. They can configure backend servers to only accept traffic directly from the proxy and then configure the granular access control configurations on the proxy example, admins can configure the reverse proxy’s firewall to whitelist or blacklist specific IP addresses. All existing servers behind the proxy will be protected accordingly, and whenever admins add a new backend server to the network that is configured to only accept requests from the proxy server, the new backend server is protected according to the proxy configuration. Using a reverse proxy can also allow administrators to easily swap backend servers in and out without disrupting traffic. Because clients interact directly with the proxy, they only need to know its host name and don’t need to worry about changes to the backend network topology. In addition to simplifying client configuration, an admin can configure a reverse proxy to load-balance traffic so that requests can be more evenly distributed to the backend servers and improve overall case: onboarding and off-boardingWhen onboarding a new user to a network, administrators must configure access control and firewalls to ensure the user can access the appropriate resources. Traditionally, an admin has to configure each server for which users need access. In a large organization with many servers, this can be a time-consuming and error-prone process. However, with a reverse proxy, administrators can configure the access rights directly on the proxy server and have the user route all traffic through it. As such, the backend servers only need to trust and communicate with the proxy directly. This greatly simplifies the configuration process and helps ensure access is granted and revoked correctly by doing so through a single tting up a reverse proxy for access managementWhile a reverse proxy can greatly simplify the process of managing access to a network, setting it up and configuring it properly can get complicated. It requires provisioning the host with appropriate specifications, configuring the operating system and firewall, deciding on which proxy software to use (such as NGINX or HAProxy), enumerating and configuring the downstream servers in the proxy configuration files, setting up audit logging, and configuring the firewalls in all the downstream servers. An administrator will need to optimize the proxy software to adjust for performance and availability requirements. For example, when a downstream server fails, the admin should configure the proxy server to quickly reroute traffic to avoid scale, the out-of-the-box configurations are rarely sufficient, so testing becomes important. Whenever the configurations change, you’ll need a way to run sufficient load against a representative test environment and closely monitor the impact on both performance and availability to verify that configurations will meet the needs of the production ing a reverse proxy by hand vs. buying softwareGiven all the steps involved in implementing, testing, and optimizing a reverse proxy, you may choose to buy software that can provide this functionality without all the custom work. Access management software can provide all of this functionality while also managing the ongoing maintenance and user management. In addition to providing standard reverse proxy capabilities, access management software affords a number of unique benefits:1) Flexibility with user access. By abstracting away the complexity of firewalls and access control, access management software can provide higher-level concepts like user groups. This functionality makes it easy for admins to assign and remove users from various predefined groups and allows the software to automatically implement the access policies. 2) Designed to boost reliability. In distributed systems, servers can fail and network interruptions may occur. Access management software easily detects failed servers and reroutes traffic to working ones to avoid any noticeable downtime for users. 3) Load balancing capabilities. Single servers may struggle when hit with a large amount of traffic, which degrades performance and increases request latency. Access management software can help to manage traffic and balance the load across all servers, making sure it’s evenly naging access with strongDMThe strongDM control plane is a proxy-based solution that simplifies authentication and authorization for admins. It routes all database and server connections through its protocol-aware proxy over a TLS 1. 2 secure TCP connection, and it handles load balancing and automatic failover to provide high availability. The proxy validates user sessions and permissions and then intelligently routes the session to the target database or server through the most efficient path, logging all traffic along the rongDM extends the single sign-on capabilities of your identity provider, allowing you to authenticate users to any server or database. From the Admin UI, you can view connected resources and manage role-based access control for your users. See for yourself with a free, 14-day trial. this post? Then get all that SDM goodness, right in your you! Your submission has been received! Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
What is the difference between a VPN and a proxy? – Panda Security
As you dig into the networking settings on your computer or smartphone, you’ll often see options labelled “VPN” or “Proxy”. Although they do similar jobs, they are also very different. This article will help you understand what the difference is, and when you might want to use one.
What is a proxy?
Normally when you browse the web, your computer connects to a website directly and begins downloading the pages for you to read. This process is simple and direct.
When you use a proxy server, your computer sends all web traffic to the proxy first. The proxy forwards your request to the target website, downloads the relevant information, and then passes it back to you.
Why would you do this? There’s a couple of reasons:
You want to browse a website anonymously – all traffic appears to come from the proxy server, not your computer.
You need to bypass a content restriction. Famously, your UK Netflix subscription won’t work in the USA. But if you connect to a UK proxy server it looks like you are watching TV from the UK and everything works as expected.
Although they work very well, there’s also a few problems with proxies:
All of the web traffic that passes through a proxy can be seen by the server owner. Do you know the proxy owner? Can they be trusted?
Web traffic between your computer and proxy, and proxy and website is unencrypted, so a skilled hacked can intercept sensitive data in transit and steal it.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is quite similar to a proxy. Your computer is configured to connect to another server, and it may be that your route web traffic through that server. But where a proxy server can only redirect web requests, a VPN connection is capable of routing and anonymising all of your network traffic.
But there is one significant advantage of the VPN – all traffic is encrypted. This means that hackers cannot intercept data between your computer and the VPN server, so your sensitive personal information cannot be compromised.
VPNs are the most secure choice
By encrypting and routing all of your network traffic, the VPN has a distinct advantage over a proxy server. And more than simply anonymising your web activities, a proxy server offers additional functionality too.
Take the Panda Dome VPN service. Not only does it anonymise your internet traffic and help you circumvent geographic filters, but traffic is also carefully inspected and filtered. Our VPN servers check every request and block anything that is known to be dangerous, like websites that host malware.
Routing your web traffic through an advanced VPN helps you avoid malware infections, phishing scams and fake websites. And because Panda’s servers are constantly updated, you are protected around the clock from sophisticated cybercrime attacks.
You can get started with the Panda VPN now – for free – here. And for more help and advice about staying safe online, take a look at the practical tips in the Panda Security blog.
Panda Security specializes in the development of endpoint security products and is part of the WatchGuard portfolio of IT security solutions. Initially focused on the development of antivirus software, the company has since expanded its line of business to advanced cyber-security services with technology for preventing cyber-crime.
Frequently Asked Questions about reverse proxy vs forward proxy
What is the difference between proxy and reverse proxy?
A traditional forward proxy server allows multiple clients to route traffic to an external network. … A reverse proxy, on the other hand, routes traffic on behalf of multiple servers. A reverse proxy effectively serves as a gateway between clients, users, and application servers.Mar 31, 2021
Is VPN a forward proxy or reverse proxy?
A VPN is quite similar to a proxy. Your computer is configured to connect to another server, and it may be that your route web traffic through that server. But where a proxy server can only redirect web requests, a VPN connection is capable of routing and anonymising all of your network traffic.Dec 12, 2018
When would you use a reverse proxy?
Reverse proxies help increase performance, reliability, and security. They provide load balancing for web applications and APIs. They can offload services from applications to improve performance through SSL acceleration, caching, and intelligent compression.Jan 29, 2021