top of page

What is a Proxy? The difference between a proxy and a reverse proxy. Use cases of proxies.

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

Let's take an example. Let's say you are working in your office, you get bored and decide to open twitter on your company laptop. You decide to check out the Twitter profile of The Geeky Minds. You open the website URL: and find that you are unable to open the page on your company laptop. But the URL exists, you have opened it before! All other websites also open perfectly fine, so there are no internet issues. How is it possible that only one particular website does not open? The answer is - This is happening because your company laptop is connected to the internet which is regulated by a proxy.

Proxy servers are commonly used by business corporates and government entities to route and secure traffic between networks. However, there is often confusion about how this differs from a reverse proxy.

Let's dive right in -

  1. What is a Proxy?

  2. How does a proxy work?

  3. Use cases of proxy servers

  4. What is a Reverse Proxy?

  5. Use cases of a reverse proxy

  6. Types of Proxy Servers and their uses

  7. Forward Proxy

  8. Transparent Proxy

  9. Anonymous Proxy

  10. High Anonymity Proxy

  11. TOR Onion Proxy

  12. Distorting Proxy

  13. Data Center Proxy

  14. Residential Proxy

  15. Public Proxy

  16. Shared Proxy

  17. SSL Proxy

  18. Rotating Proxy

  19. Reverse Proxy

  20. Proxy Server vs VPN

  21. Should I choose a proxy server or a VPN?

What is a Proxy?

A proxy can be defined as software that makes requests to the server on behalf of the clients. In simple words, the proxy sits between the clients and the servers. Any request from the user first goes through the proxy and then reaches the server. This is also known as "forward proxy".

The system or router on which this software sits is known as a Proxy Server.

Since a proxy server sits between a user and the web server, it plays a crucial role in preventing cyber attacks. A proxy server is also useful when setting up private networks. Just like normal computers connected to the internet have an IP Address, these proxy servers also have their own IP Address.

How does a proxy work?

As mentioned, proxies are an intermediary that sits between a user's browser and a website, routing the requests through their own machine. It can be thought of as if proxies act as a filter between users and the server. Any request from the user first goes through the proxy and then reaches the server.

They also provide a level of anonymity, often required by people who do not want their browsing history to be tracked by their ISPs. Proxies are also used to allow users to access sites they would not normally be able to reach.

Use cases of proxy servers