What is a "reverse webmasters proxy" and how can it benefit you?

Search Engine Optimization

What is a "reverse webmasters proxy" and how can it benefit you?

10/03/2021 12:00 AM by SEO Blog Tools in Webmasters

What is a "reverse webmasters proxy"?

Web proxy servers are applications that request websites on behalf of all other machines in your intranet. The proxy server stores the pages it downloads from the web. If three computers request the same page, only one transfer via the Internet is needed. If your business has several commonly frequented websites, this may reduce the cost of Internet access. One reason to utilize a reverse proxy is if you're using an app server that is intentionally lacking certain functions because it's built to operate with the reverse proxy.

How do you use webmasters proxy?

Usually, you need to configure the web browsers used on your network to utilize the proxy server to gain Internet access. The name/address of the proxy machine to that for the IPCop device, and set the port to that you entered in your Proxy Port field. The default is 8080. That allows browsers to bypass the proxy should they choose to. Also, it is possible to use your proxy on "transparent" mode. In this scenario, the browsers don't require any additional configuration. The firewall redirects all traffic on port 80, the standard HTTP port, into the server.

Unicorns or Gunicorn are famous examples. These servers were designed to perform a specific task efficiently and quickly. But there are some things they don't do well, mainly dealing with extremely slow and high-latency clients and features that they do not provide, like HTTP keep-alive. That can create problems when dealing with massive traffic on the Internet. It's okay since Nginx is in existence and knows how to handle these tasks effectively. Nginx can handle anything it can and redirect the requests that must go directly to an application server. Unicorns or guns.

The term "HTTP proxy" refers to a server that can HTTP proxy refers to a type of server that can accept HTTP requests and then forward the requests to a different server.

The first use of proxy servers including:

  • Allow users of an internal network with no Internet connection to access the Internet. You would not have any relationship directly to the entire Internet and only internal servers. And one of the proxy servers that has access to the web will be an intermediary.
  • Perform access control: only specific users can use "the web" (HTTP servers on the Internet). Users can only access a few web servers (using either whitelist where only the servers listed are accessible. 
  • Blacklists: every server, not just those listed, may be accessible) or the combination of both.
  • Control content: This can involve looking for "sensitive" stuff, like malware or p0rn. It might disable videos—downloads of executable zip files, zip files or any other.
  • Caching: It was ubiquitous in the 90s to cut down bandwidth. The proxy would store the result of a request. Future users (or the same) who requested that same link would receive the information locally from the cache. That was helpful when links to the Internet were unreliable and congested. However, it required several users to access the same resources for it to be effective.
  • Sniffing and censorship of communications. Suppose you stop all HTTP(S) connections through the proxy. Information can be decrypted and encrypted again on the second leg, which permits all kinds of legitimate and less legal stuff to occur.
  • A mix of all the above, and maybe a few others I'm not aware of.

This kind of proxy is popular in enterprise networks most often to control access and content. It's also a standard instrument in countries where the government would like to know what you read, do or write.

Most of the time, the proxy is set up (though typically automatically) within the browser. In some instances, setting up the use of a clear proxy could be configured (though this is much more complicated with SSL/TLS).

Using this type of proxy allows the browser to request every URL (provided it is accepted by the proxy to receive, obviously). The exchange is generally regarded as "internal to external".

Reverse webmasters proxy

Another kind of proxy, which was introduced slightly later, is known as the reverse proxy. In this instance, we're doing the reverse. That is, people from all across the Internet will pass through this proxy before reaching the actual server.

That can be useful to:

  • Load balancing/fault tolerance: one or more proxy servers will receive the traffic. And then forward it to servers in farms depending on load, availability and other factors.
  • The separation of the traffic Some web servers can be specifically designed. For example mixing on one server static files (CSS images, JS videos, etc.).) as well as interactive content (PHP, .NET, Java) might be unsuitable. The reverse proxy could redirect traffic to other servers according to the request.
  • Hiding internal architecture details. There could be many different resources (pages) within the same domain. However, they are hosted by a variety of servers that use other technology. One instance could be PHP and another Java. However, they can use various stacks, use different databases, etc.
  • Caching. Commonly requested resources can be stored through the proxy.
  • SSL/TLS termination. The proxy could do that instead to reduce the CPU requirements for TLS encryption/decryption on the server.
  • CDN: A CDN can include caching, load balancing, fault tolerance, and load balancing has taken to its extreme that is, you install worldwide proxies, and they serve files directly from the local cache (a much faster). If not, they get the files from the original server.
  • Security: The proxy can perform all kinds of filtering of URLs and provided data to prevent malicious requests.
  • There are probably many other cases I've not thought about.

It is essential to note you should note "original" proxies are now frequently referred to as "forward proxies" to differentiate them from the reverse proxy.

It is important to note that many HTTP server software, like Apache and Nginx, can perform HTTP service simultaneously and proxying either or both directions. Some setups allow the same server can provide local resources on specific routes and then redirect to a different server for other routes.


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