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What is Reverse Proxy, API Gateway, Load Balancer



In the world of web applications, there are several tools that are used to ensure that the system runs smoothly. Three of the most important ones are reverse proxy, API gateway, and load balancer. In this blog post, we will explore what these tools are and how they differ.

Reverse Proxy

A reverse proxy is a server that sits between client devices and web servers. It receives requests from clients, forwards the requests to the web servers, and then sends the response back to the clients. The main benefit of a reverse proxy is that it can cache content, which can significantly reduce the load on web servers. Reverse proxies can also help to secure web servers by masking their IP addresses and providing an additional layer of defense against attacks.

API Gateway

An API gateway is a server that acts as an intermediary between microservices and client applications. It provides a unified interface for the client applications to access the microservices. The API gateway can perform various tasks, such as authentication, rate limiting, and load balancing. It can also help to simplify the architecture of microservices by abstracting away the details of the individual services.

Load Balancer

A load balancer is a server that distributes network traffic across multiple servers. The main benefit of a load balancer is that it can help to ensure that no single server becomes overwhelmed with traffic. Load balancers can be either hardware or software-based and can be configured to distribute traffic based on various factors such as server load, geography, and session persistence.


In summary, a reverse proxy, API gateway, and load balancer are all important tools for ensuring that web applications and microservices run smoothly. Although they may seem similar, each tool serves a specific purpose and has its own unique benefits. Understanding the differences between these tools can help you to choose the right one for your specific needs.