What is Reverse Proxy?

Reverse Proxy - a type of proxy server that retrieves resources on behalf of a client from one or more servers. While traditional proxies are focused on enhancing security and privacy, reverse proxies help with scalability and performance.

A reverse proxy sits between the client device (typically web browser) and the target server(s), intercepting requests for content like web pages or videos, then taking care of fetching those resources from the backend servers. This way, clients request data from only one source (the reverse proxy), which in turn can distribute requests as necessary.

In other words, when a user attempts to access a website via their browser, that request first goes to the reverse proxy server. The reverse proxy then accesses the appropriate web server(s) to retrieve any required data before sending it back to the user's browser.

The Advantages of Using a Reverse Proxy Server

A reverse proxy offers several benefits for websites facing high traffic loads:

How a Reverse Proxy Server Works

Reverse proxies work by intercepting and forwarding incoming client requests to backend servers. They can also perform additional functions such as caching, load balancing, SSL encryption/decryption, and content filtering.

When clients request data from a website or application that has a reverse proxy in place, the following steps typically occur:

  1. The client sends a request for data to the reverse proxy server.
  2. The reverse proxy takes that request and forwards it on to one of several web servers (based on predetermined rules). This server retrieves the requested data before sending it back to the reverse proxy.
  3. The reverse proxy caches any frequently accessed content so it doesn't need to be retrieved from the backend server each time a new user makes that same request.
  4. If necessary, the reverse proxy can also encrypt or decrypt traffic based on SSL configurations set up within its system.

Main Features of Reverse Proxy Servers

A Reverse Proxy serves many purposes for websites dealing with high traffic volumes: