HTTP - Forward Proxy

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1 - About

A forward proxy is a server called a proxy that is configured to forward every a internal Http request to an external destination website, hence the name Forward Proxy.

The proxy configuration that do the inverse (ie receives external request and routes them to internal service such as a website) is called a reverse proxy or gateway

The forward proxy sits on a local network between the local client (user) and the external destination website.

Technically, in order to get content from the origin server, the client sends a request to the forward proxy naming the origin server as the target. The proxy then requests the content from the origin server and returns it to the client.

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3 - Usage

A typical usage of a forward proxy is:

4 - Client Configuration

4.1 - Windows

The client must be specially configured to use the forward proxy to access other sites. Ie the proxy parameters.

Example with Windows:

4.2 - Linux

The configuration of a forward proxy on a Linux server happens with the environment variable http_proxy or https_proxy that set the proxy server location.

Example:

export http_proxy=http://proxy.example.com:8080
export https_proxy=https://proxy.example.com:8080
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