How reverse proxy works?



  • I know that forward proxy can enhance security by replacing client IP's address with proxy server IP address. So, the web server or anyone else cannot identify the client identity who's requesting a website.

    However, can the reverse proxy do the same thing? Can it somehow hide the IP address of the web server? I read some sources on the internet, some saying yes (but not having detail explanation), while others say impossible because it's like you want to hide your phone number but still expect others to call you.



  • A typical reverse proxy which also serves as a security layer are content delivery networks (CDN) like Cloudflare or Akamai. They make it possible to hide the server behind the CDN, i.e. the server can be mode to only accessible from the CDN and each client will need to access the CDN in order to access the server. The CDN not only hides the original IP address but usually provides also further protection against DDoS and web based attacks.

    ... while others say impossible because it's like you want to hide your phone number but still expect others to call you.

    The DNS is setup in a way that the domain points to the CDN and not the original server. The CDN is configured to forward the traffic to the original server then.



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