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A Proxy (also referred to as a "go-between" or "mediator") is an intermediary actor (i.e. application, person, etc) in a given interaction (i.e. function, business agreement, etc) or process (i.e. workflow, legal dispute).

Proxy Server

A Proxy Server is a server whose purpose is to route web requests on behalf of some person (i.e. using a browser in a given location blocked by a destination website or service) or an application performing request re-routing (i.e. network-layer proxy server configured to route all web traffic matching a given pattern). Proxy Servers operate at either OSI Layer-7 (Application) via a Content Filter or OSI Layer-3 (Network) via a NAT Filter.

Client Proxy

Confusingly enough, Client Proxies are often also referred to as being "Server-side (Client) Proxies", since technically speaking they are a small piece of server-side code whose purpose is too route requests from a given client to an external destination and send the response back. However, a Client Proxy differs from Proxy Server in that a Client Proxy is typically event-driven and responds only to a specific asynchronous request, whereas a Proxy Server is a dedicated process used for filtering all network traffic on a given device, operating system, IP or group of IPs (i.e. an entire LAN of a given region's ISP).

Client Proxies are most commonly used within WebApps & RIAs to circumvent the same-origin policy of most modern browsers, Proxy Servers are most commonly used to circumvent intranet (i.e. government or corporate) firewalls or other network restrictions/limitations.

Load Balancer

Reverse Proxy

In computer networks, a reverse proxy is a type of proxy server that retrieves resources on behalf of a client from one or more servers. These resources are then returned to the client as if they originated from the Web Server itself.

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External Links


  1. F5 FAQ - What is a Load Balancer?:
  2. F5 fixes high-risk NGINX Controller vulnerability in January patch rollout:
  3. How to Configure HAProxy as a Proxy and Load Balancer:
  4. What Is a Reverse Proxy Server?:
  5. Reverse Proxy - What, When, How
  6. How to NGINX Reverse Proxy with Docker Compose:
  7. Exposing apps from an Oracle Kubernetes cluster using a Network Load Balancer for free:
  8. FoxyProxy request filter patterns:

See Also

Web Proxy | Web Service | Web Application | Client/Server | OSI | VPN | Network | Firewall | LoadBalancer | CDN | Optimization