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Difference between firewall and antivirus

Both the firewall and the proxy server reside between the network and the local computer that provides security against network threats. The firewall and the proxy server work together. The firewall works at a lower level and can filter all types of IP packets while the proxy server handles application-level traffic and filters requests from the unknown client.

A proxy server can be considered as part of the firewall. A firewall essentially prevents access to the unauthorized connection. On the other hand, a proxy server acts primarily as a mediator who establishes the connection between the external user and the public network.

Comparative graph

Basis for the comparison Firewall Server proxy
Basic Check and filter incoming and outgoing traffic in a local network. Establishes communication between the external client and the server.
filters IP packages Client requests for connection.
Overload generated Of Pi Less
involves Network and transport level data. Application level data.

Definition of firewall

The firewall creates a barrier from which traffic must pass in a different direction. It works as an IP packet-level filter and offers an effective way to protect, monitor, and control the local network against threats to external network security, spoofing and IP routing attacks. an integrated solution for network security that not only provides hardware but also software-based security. Firewall a collection of packet filters and proxy servers (application gateways).

The Packet filter it is used to forward and block incoming and outgoing packets based on the information provided in the header of the transport and network layer, such as source and destination address, port number, protocol, etc. On the other hand, the proxy server filters the data at the application level by checking the content of the message itself, the proxy server discussed below in more detail.

The main strategies implemented by the firewall for access management and the application of security policy are: service control, management control, user control and behavior control.

  • Service control : specifies which Internet service to access, inbound or outbound.
  • Management control – Determines which path must be followed to traverse data in the network.
  • User control : manages access to a service based on which a user attempts to access the service.
  • Behavioral control – Determines the use of services.

Definition of Proxy Server

The proxy server also known as application gateway as it controls traffic at the application level. Despite examining the raw packages, it also filters the data based on the header fields, message size and content. As mentioned above, the proxy server is part of the firewall, the packet firewall alone would not be feasible because it cannot distinguish between port numbers. The proxy server acts like a proxy and makes decisions for managing the flow of application-specific traffic (using URLs).

Now how does the proxy server work? The proxy server in the center of the client and the original server. Performs a server process to receive a request from the client to access the server.

When the proxy server opens the request, it checks the entire contents. If the request and its content seem legitimate, the proxy server sends the request to the real server as if it were a client. Furthermore, if the request is not a legitimate request, the proxy server immediately eliminates it and sends the error message to the external user.

Another advantage of the proxy server is retention in cache when the server receives a request for a page, it first checks whether the response to the page already cached or not if no response is stored the proxy server sends the corresponding request to the server. In this way, the proxy server reduces traffic, loads the real server and improves latency.

Key differences between firewall and proxy server

  1. The firewall used to block traffic that can cause damage to the system acts as a barrier to incoming and outgoing traffic on the public network. On the other hand, the proxy server is a component of a firewall that enables communication between the client and the server if the client is a legitimate user and acts as client and server at the same time.
  2. The firewall filters IP packets. Instead, the proxy server filters the requests it receives based on its content at the application level.
  3. The overhead generated in the firewall is more than a proxy server because the proxy server uses caching and handles fewer aspects.
  4. The firewall uses data from the transport and network layer while application level data is also used in proxy server processing.


The firewall and the proxy server work in the integration. However, a proxy server is a component of the firewall that, when used together with the firewall, provides feasibility and greater efficiency.