Forward and reverse proxies

14 January 2023

Astro, a trusted proxy website, is a multi-faceted ecosystem. We offer various sorts of proxies and are perfectly informed about each type. Today, our team will discuss distinctive features and properties of forward proxies and reverse proxies.

Definition of forward proxies

Forward proxies are a typical solution offered by any trusted proxy website. That is what we frequently mean when making a reference to ‘proxies’. This class functions as intermediary bridges right between users and the pages they visit. Users’ requests pass through this class of proxies to reach the target page after that. It works the same in the opposite direction. Internet servers are unable to recognize users. All they can see are geo targeted proxies. Thus, it gives users privacy. In addition, forward proxies are also capable of caching data that is used to process subsequent queries. Also, forward proxies are able to contribute to greater security when it comes to private networks.  

As for their mission, available purposes include: 

  1. Granting access to geo restricted content. Without tested and trusted proxy websites, users, while surfing, normally find content predetermined by their location. Some content can be blocked, some may be altered according to it. For instance, prices in Germany can be higher than prices displayed for Nicaragua. Ads can also differ, etc. Geo targeted proxies of the forward type solve this problem.
  2. Ensuring user privacy. Forward proxy solutions constitute an extra layer of security by masking users’ IPs.
  3. Data harvesting. This use case is typical for business teams and professional freelancers. Rotating addresses are intended to bypass safeguards used by websites to restrict scrapers.  

Definition of reverse proxies

As implied, in stark contrast with forward proxies that function on behalf of users, the reverse ones function in front of web servers, on their side of the chain. There, they transfer users' requests directed to these servers. A reverse proxy receives a query from the users, sends the query to another server, and then delivers it back to the user. Hence, their mission is to ensure the privacy of the web server, not the users. They literally prevent users from reaching the main server. 

Obviously, reverse proxies are employed by teams and companies running various web presences. Their scenarios may include:

  • Load balancing in terms of inbound traffic. Handling enormous traffic volumes can be challenging even for the most reliable sites when they are popular. Thus, distributing that traffic between several web servers will help manage data flows without crashing. 
  • Caching frequently requested data. Web surfers do not like to wait for too long while images or videos are being loaded. Caching can boost websites’ performance in terms of speed.
  • Privacy and data safety. Reverse proxies, by default, scan all incoming queries. Thus, they can also intercept them and restrict suspicious traffic.

Key takeaways: differences between forward and reverse proxies

To sum up, the dividing line is focused on:

  1. Parties. Forward proxies benefit surfers, reverse proxies aid site owners; 
  2. Location. Forward proxies are “placed” between surfers and servers. Reverse proxies are “placed” on the side of the web servers. 
  3. Scenarios. Forward proxies’ goal is to ensure users’ privacy and give them access to geo restricted or modified info. Reverse proxies help websites so that they can protect themselves against suspicious intrusions and manage data flows.   

Astro, as an advanced platform and trusted proxy website, provides users with the very combo of geo targeted IPs they need. Reach out to us for a free trial if you haven’t tried our proxies yet! 


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