What is a reverse proxy?

A reverse proxy is a service that proxies data, which can be anything, from a network server to a client. Its main job is to hide the location of the original server or mitigate denial of service attacks.

An API gateway is a service that controls communication between servers/clusters of servers when requesting or sending specified API requests. These requests are usually strictly defined and their job is to ensure that API rules are followed.

The reverse proxy is generic for forwarding and receiving packets, while the API gateway is dedicated to the API. On the other hand, the reverse proxy is located on the server side. The concept works like this: the site owner hosts his site on (say) four systems. Now, which system's IP address should he/she disclose to the outside world? One solution is to map all IP addresses in DNS. Reverse proxies are an alternative solution to this situation. You make a request to a single IP address, your request is serviced by one of four servers (depending on parameters such as loops), and the reply to you is still from the original request of the server to which you sent the request.

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