Proxy servers have become essential for managing network security and traffic. While businesses almost ubiquitously use them to protect their networks, few except network admins understand them. The purpose of this article is to give all IT specialists a brief understanding of proxies before making an effort to secure the network.
In short, all proxy servers act as a middleman routing traffic between a client and server. However, the goals and the way they achieve them vary from type to type. All proxies can be categorized into either forward or reverse proxy servers.
What is a forward proxy?
A Forward Proxy relays data requests from client devices like our smartphones or laptops to the internet. It acts as an intermediary to protect clients when connecting to external sources. The external sources on the other end can be a web page, hosted file, remote machine, etc. It does so by masking client IP addresses, filtering unknown traffic, and enforcing security protocols like the one and only gateway that traffic passes through.
In practice, a forward proxy provides network admins with the opportunity to manage traffic. Traffic can be regulated and load-balanced via the proxy server to maintain performance and reliability. Typically, forward proxies are used within the networks of businesses, like universities and enterprises, to:
● Blocking clients (employees, students, users, etc.) from visiting certain websites
● Monitor online activity by users
● Block malicious traffic from protected servers
What is a reverse proxy?
A Reverse Proxy relay data requests from all over the internet directed to its connected servers like a web page, hosted file, remote machine, etc. In other words, a forwarding proxy is put in place to protect clients when connecting to external networks. It is intended to protect a server from various internal and external connections.
A reverse proxy accepts requests from the client, routes them to the protected server, and then returns the requested data to the client. All the while, the client is completely unaware that they are not communicating directly with the processing server. From the perspective of the client devices requesting the data, the reverse proxy is the only server they are interacting with.
In a way, it acts as a decoy server or a gateway between clients, users, and application servers. While keeping the identity of the processing server a secret, it handles all access policy management and traffic routing.
So, what’s the ultimate goal of AstroRelay?
AstroRelay is a reverse proxy server that makes it easier for network admins to manage network security, performance, and maintenance. Security policies only have to be enforced at the single point of entry - the reverse proxy server. As a gateway that stands before your server and local resources, AstroRelay is offering a reliable security solution for:
● Configuring a layer of firewall with whitelist/blacklist IP addresses for your resources.
● Configure the backend server to only accept requests from the proxy server.
● Backend servers can be swapped for maintenance, backup, or configuration without disrupting traffic.
● Implement load-balancing for the network by evenly distributing traffic from the reverse proxy server.
If you wish to learn more about AstroRelay and the value it brings to you or your business, please check out this link https://www.astrorelay.com/