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Forward Proxy Vs Reverse proxy

Forward Proxy Vs Reverse proxy

A proxy server acts as a go-between for a computer or end user and the internet. A proxy server functions similarly to a traffic controller. It will examine and redirect internet traffic to/from the user and the desired web address depending on where the proxy server is located in your network (more on this later).

Proxy servers have developed over time and now include capabilities and functionalities that go far beyond just facilitating web traffic. Today, many proxy servers are utilized to protect internet users, meet important use cases and compliance issues including network security and privacy laws, and control internet traffic and usage.

Proxy servers come in both forward proxy and reverse proxy flavors, but they have various uses and are frequently employed in different contexts.

Forward Proxy
A server that sits in front of a group of clients and serves as a go-between for them and the internet is known as a forward proxy. The forward proxy receives requests from the clients and routes them to the proper internet servers. 

In business settings, forward proxies are frequently used to offer security, access control, and caching for internet-bound data.

Fig 1.1- Forward Proxy Vs Reverse proxy

Reverse proxy
The opposite is true with a reverse proxy, which sits in front of one or more web servers and routes incoming client requests to the correct server in accordance with setup. For web servers, reverse proxy are frequently used to provide security, improve performance, and control access. 

Incoming client requests can be split among several web servers, frequently requested content can be cached, SSL/TLS encryption and decryption is handled, access to some resources can be restricted based on the client's IP address, login information, or other criteria, clients can be authenticated before their requests are forwarded to the web servers, URLs can be rewritten, and client requests and server responses can be logged.

Resemblance
The most striking resemblance between a forward and reverse proxy is that they both protect devices connected to a private network from threats from the internet and other external networks.

Both forward and reverse proxies can limit the types and sizes of files that pass through them and deny access to users who have not authenticated.

Proxy servers, both forward and reverse, can perform port and protocol switching, which can further disguise the access patterns used to access resources hidden behind them.

Conclusion
In conclusion, a forward proxy sits in front of the client and facilitates internet access, whereas a reverse proxy sits in front of the web servers and routes incoming client requests to the right server in accordance with setup.

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Concept of Reverse proxy - The Network DNA
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