A Forward proxy provides internal clients access through a firewall to resources on the Internet. This service is often provided as part of a larger intranet security strategy. Forward proxying allows clients to access resources outside of the firewall without compromising the integrity of the private network.
A forward proxy can be configured to keep copies of content within their local cache. Subsequent requests for that content can then be serviced from the local cache rather than obtaining the content from the origin server. Caching increases performance by decreasing the time involved in traversing the network.
Most proxy servers have the capability to filter requests from users. Administrators can choose to limit access to certain resources that might not be appropriate for the workplace and therefore deny such access.
In a forward proxy scenario, the client is aware of the proxy server and is configured to use it for various requests. The firewall can then be configured to allow only certain traffic from the proxy server rather than permitting such access to all internal clients.