Reverse Proxy vs Proxy Server

Reverse Proxy vs. Proxy Server

Many organizations use proxy servers to route and secure traffic between networks. The distinction between a proxy server and a reverse proxy is frequently misunderstood. Administrators can use a reverse proxy to easily manage access.
To browse the internet secretly, access geo-restricted content, perform web scraping, and more, you need forward proxies. Because they help prevent overloading and are ideal for caching content and security testing, reverse proxies are critical for websites with high daily traffic.
Proxies act as go-betweens, connecting a user’s computer to a web server on the latter’s behalf and transferring data between the two. Proxy servers, as you may be aware, are available in a variety of flavors. This article will go over the differences between forward and reverse proxy servers and how they work.

Proxy server – what is it, and how does it work?

Also known as a forward proxy. It is a server that serves as a go-between for a client and an external system. As a result, traffic can be controlled by predefined practices, client IP addresses can be changed, security protocols can be implemented, and unnamed traffic can be blocked.
Forward proxy servers are commonly used in network infrastructures, such as businesses or data centers. Clients communicate with servers through a single interface, which eliminates the need for multiple interfaces., eliminating the need for clients to enforce all policies and route management logic on their own.

Reverse proxy – How does it work?

Proxy servers come in various flavors, with reverse proxy being one of them. In contrast to a traditional proxy server, a reverse proxy is used to protect servers rather than clients. It’s possible to implement a reverse proxy by using a server that accepts a client’s request, forwards it to one of many other servers, and then returns the results of that different server’s processing to the client.
When using a reverse proxy server, the client never communicates with anyone other than the server acting as the reverse proxy.
When using a traditional forward proxy server, traffic from multiple clients can be routed to an external network for processing. Employee traffic to the public Internet can be routed and filtered through a proxy server used by the company. The opposite is true of a reverse proxy, which acts as a single entry point for traffic from multiple servers.
Reverse proxies act as a conduit between application servers and their respective clients. Access policy management and traffic routing are handled by it, protecting the identity of the server performing the actual processing.

The differences between a proxy server and a reverse proxy

The main difference is that a forward proxy is used by a client (such as a private network user) when it comes to forward and reverse proxies.
Whereas a reverse proxy is used by an internet server. When using a forward proxy, you have the option of having it on your private network or having it be located online.
To prevent websites from communicating with a user directly, forward proxies are used. Users can’t communicate directly with back-end servers using reverse proxies.
Another difference between these two types of proxies is how they are used. The most common use cases for each proxy type have already been identified.
On the other hand, proxies are used for a wide range of purposes, including web scraping, geo-restricted access, and more.
Web servers use reverse proxies to avoid being overloaded, add extra layers of security from malicious entities, cache, and encrypt communications over SSL, among other things. As a result, the primary distinction between these proxies is their intended use.

Is it possible for a forward proxy server to also serve as a reverse proxy?

Forward proxy servers cannot perform reverse proxy server functions. The concepts behind these proxies may be comparable, but they serve very different roles.
An IP address isn’t all that a proxy server is. For proxies to work, they need IP addresses as well as specialized software.
For different purposes, forward and reverse proxies require additional software to work correctly. Because of this, forward proxies cannot be used as reverse proxies.
Note: Proxy servers can be classified as forward or reverse depending on their purpose. They are not the same proxies because they are used for different purposes.

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