How reverse proxy works

1. When a user sends a request, the reverse proxy receives the request and forwards it to the Web server.

A reverse proxy receives requests from a client on another network, passes them to an internal server, receives the results, and then passes them back to the client. This is how proxies work: they pass data back and forth between the client and the server.

In other words, for anyone trying to discern the difference between a forward proxy and a reverse proxy, a reverse proxy is exactly the same as a proxy, except backwards: the forward proxy represents the client, while the reverse proxy represents the client server.

2. Receives the response and forwards it to the user, rather than the Web server receiving the request.

A reverse proxy server can use a technique called polling DNS to direct requests through a rotating list of internal servers. It was crude, but surprisingly effective. If you become more demanding, you can switch to a more complex setup that includes load balancing capabilities.


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