Proxies:Proxies act as intermediaries between clients and servers on a network. They facilitate communication by forwarding requests and responses between the two parties, often adding an extra layer of functionality or security in the process.
Forward Proxy:A forward proxy is a server that sits between client devices and the internet. When a client makes a request, the request is sent to the forward proxy. The forward proxy then makes the request to the internet on behalff of the client, receives the response, and forwards it back to the client. Key uses of a forward proxy: Key uses of a forward proxy: 1. Anonymity: It can hide the identity of the client device, making it appear as if requests are coming from the proxy server, not the client. 2. Access control: It can restrict internet access for clients, filtering out certain websites of types of content. 3. Caching: It can cache content from responses and serve them directly to clients, instead of making another request to the backend server. 4. Bandwidth saving: In an organization, multiple clients may request the same content. A forward prosxy can serve cached content to these clients saving bandwidth. In this example, forwardRequest does the job of a forward proxy: it gets the request from the client, makes the same request to the desired server, and then returns the server's response back to the client.
Reverse Proxy:A reverse proxy is a server that sites between client devices and a web server, forwarding client requests to the web server and returning the server's responses back to the clients. Therefore, a client might not even be aware that the actual processing of its request was done by a different server (or servers) behind the proxy. It's called a "reverse" proxy because it handles incoming requests for the server, rather than outgoing requests for the client like a forward proxy would. Key uses of a reverse proxy: 1. Load balancing: It can distribute incoming client requests across multiple servers to balance the load and ensure no single server beomes overwhelmed. 2. Increased security: It hides the identity and charactetristics of the backend server it fronts, making it harder for attackers to attack the real target. 3. Caching: It can cache responses from the backend server and serve them directly to clients, reducing backend server load and inmproving response times. 4. SSL Termination: It can handle the SSL/TLS processing tasks, offloading this work from the backend server. In simple terms, if you're protecting or controlling your server(s), use a reverse proxy. If you're protecting or controlling your clients, use a forward proxy.