What are the differences between Firewall and Proxy Server?

To begin with, let us learn the concepts of firewall and proxy server.


It is used to provide security, mostly from external networks such as the Internet. It is the combination of software and hardware to allow, deny, monitor, and block any and all data transmissions occurring from a specified internal network.

Firewalls evaluate, allow, or deny network traffic based on certain predefined rules set-up based on IP addresses or its range, port numbers, protocols, and few other factors. It provides good traffic management.

Firewalls defend against external threats refusing or denying unauthorized requests, transmissions, and connections to the router, network, application software, PC, server, virtual machines, etc from potential attackers such as hackers.

Their responsibilities are packet filtering and they function as application proxies.

Types of Firewalls

The different types of firewalls are as follows −

  • Software firewalls
  • Hardware firewalls

From an architectural design perspective, there are five types of firewalls, which are as follows −

  • Packet-filtering firewalls.
  • Stateful inspection firewalls.
  • Circuit-level gateways.
  • Application-level gateways or proxy firewalls.
  • Next-gen firewalls

A 'personal firewall' is a software layer that protects an individual computer which may be a part of the operating system or a separate software package which has to be configured with relevant ports with their corresponding protocols closed or opened per predefined rules to filter the network traffic that comes in and goes out of a network.

A firewall is also used to secure Wi-fi wireless networks. A type of firewall is a host-based firewall. You could use firewalls on the router and even at the system level. Hence, a proper firewall mechanism with proper rules should be implemented in the operating system.


The disadvantages of Firewall are as follows −

  • The purchasing and installing of hardware firewalls are very expensive and are not easily affordable.

  • Installation and upgrade of hardware firewalls are difficult due to the ever-changing technology and environment.

  • Firewalls do not offer user authentication.

  • Firewalls are hard to manage and scale in complex environments.

  • Backdoors may exist.

  • May block required services such as FTP and Telnet required for employees in a company.

Proxy server

A proxy server is a computer that offers a service to allow clients to make indirect network connections to the other network services.

A client connects to the proxy server, and then requests a connection, file, or other resource available on a different server.

Then the proxy provides the required resource either by connecting to the specified server or by obtaining through its cache.


The advantages of proxy server are as follows −

  • It helps the clients to protect their important information from getting hacked by hackers.

  • The proxy server is also used to enhance the security and privacy level of the client's device while surfing by using different proxies.

  • Proxy servers can be used any number of times for speeding up the browsing and access data because of their good cache system.

  • As the cache system of a proxy server is very good, when you access any websites using a proxy server, it is having the chance to store your desired data in their cache system. As a result we can access them whenever we want.

  • A proxy server is also used in bypassing blocked websites.


The major differences between Firewall and Proxy server are as follows −

  • The firewall actually monitors and filters the incoming as well as the outgoing traffic in the local network. Whereas, the proxy server establishes the communication between the external client as well as the server.

  • A firewall uses and blocks the IP packets and proxy server uses the client-side requests for the connections.

  • A firewall will allow and filter the packets coming and going out of the network. Whereas, the proxy server will route and control the application-level traffic.