Glossary

Reverse Proxy

A reverse proxy is a technology that works with an organization’s web servers and websites. The reverse proxy forwards requests made by a user’s browser to relevant web servers. This helps to balance loads and responsiveness and provides additional security and reliability.

Terms related to Reverse Proxy: Proxy, forward proxy, proxy server, web proxy, load balancing, whitelist, blacklist, website, web application, application gateway

A standard proxy server sits in front of one or more client computers and then routes user requests and browser traffic through the proxy. A proxy can provide more secure, confidential browsing, help to avoid IP restrictions, or be used alongside whitelists or blacklists to limit access to certain content.

A “reverse proxy” acts the other way round. Essentially, all requests to a specific IP or website URL are directed to and intercepted by the reverse proxy server, at the “network edge.” The reverse proxy will then manage those browser requests from users with the web servers or web application. This ensures that an end user’s computer and browser never communicates directly with a web server or application, but instead only communicates through the reverse proxy.

A reverse proxy delivers several benefits to web servers and applications including:

  • Security due to having one point of contact that can be protected by application or web server firewalls and other technology. This reduced the risk of distributed denial of service (DDoS), brute force, and other attacks.
  • Load balancing, as a reverse proxy can distribute traffic across multiple servers to reduce the stress on any specific infrastructure.
  • Caching, through storing commonly-requested information resulting in greater responsiveness, better availability, and an improved browsing experience.
  • Encryption of data transmitted and received through the reverse proxy.

Reverse proxies often work alongside application gateways.

Reverse Proxy Resources from Crossmatch