Top 10 Best Open Source Proxy – Self Hosted Proxies

Top 10 Best Open Source Proxy – Self Hosted Proxies. In this article we will introduce the topic of what Proxy Server is with it’s benefits and move onto the list of the best Proxies. Let’s start! 

What is a Proxy

A proxy server is like a computer on the web that redirects your web browsing activity. A proxy server acts as a gateway between you and the internet. It’s like a middle agent server that sits between end users from the websites they browse. A Proxy server provides security, functionality and privacy depending on your needs and company policy.

In this article we will talk about top 10 best open source proxy solutions. We will also see how these self hosted proxies can help with improving the connection speeds of internet facing devices.

Proxy features

  • Privacy benefits by changing the IP address the destination server doesn’t know who actually made the original request so improves privacy usage.
  • Improved security by encrypting your web requests. Also proxy server can work with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) so remote users can get access the internet through the company proxy.
  • Access to blocked resources. Proxy servers allow users to enter content restrictions imposed by companies or governments of specific countries.
  • Control internet usage of employees and children.
  •  Prevent crashes and improve speeds. Proxy servers can cache (save a copy of the website locally) popular websites so that prevents you from accessing and saving the same websites on your network.
  • Private browsing and shopping.

Follow this post for Top 10 Best Open Source Proxy – Self Hosted Proxies.

Top 10 Best Open Source Proxy – Self Hosted Proxies

1. Squid Proxy Server - logo

Squid Proxy Server is a caching proxy that supports protocols like HTTP, HTTPS and FTP. It is an intermediary proxy that helps reduce bandwidth usage and improves response times by caching and then serving, frequently requested web pages. Squid also offers access control capability and is a great server accelerator. It is licensed under the GNU GPL and runs on Windows and most other popular operating systems.

Squid Proxy server integrates well with many third party software solutions, which are fully featured and true content web filtering proxy that enhances Squid Proxy. Squid acts as a proxy cache and  features a reverse proxy mode that caches incoming requests for outgoing data. It supports traffic optimization options, access control and authorization.

It comes with features for content filtering based on banned phrase lists, file extensions and more. Squid Proxy server reduces bandwidth usage,  enhances the user’s browsing experience by caching documents. Squid proxy assists in monitoring user traffic and user privacy. 

Privoxy is a regular or non caching web proxy with advanced filtering capabilities for ensuring privacy, modifying web page data and HTTP headers, controlling access, blocking tracking cookies,and removing ads or other intrusive features that deduct from a user’s experience (UX).

Privoxy is highly configurable and can be customized to suit individual needs as well as unique requirements. It is flexible enough to be used in both stand alone systems and multi user networks.

With SwiperProxy we have a fast, open source web proxy that is easy to run, administer, and customize. It is built on efficient Python code that helps it optimally run its self contained minimalist webserver.

For those that prefer to run their proxy server, SwiperProxy runs well on and scales with, major webservers like Apache, NGINX and Varnish.

It is full featured proxy that supports HTTP, HTTPS,URL rewrites, blacklists and logging. 

Traefik Proxy architecture
Traefik Proxy architecture - it sits between the internet and the boundary of the network

Traefik (pronounced traffic) is also another HTTP reverse proxy and load balancer that makes deploying microservices easy. Traefik integrates with various infrastructure components that already exist on a network (Docker, Kubernetes, Marathon, etcd, Rancher and Amazon ECS ) and automatically configures itself (or scales dynamically) accordingly.

This proxy was designed to be easy to operate while also being capable of handling large, complex deployments across a wide range of protocols in any architecture( public, private or hybrid cloud networking environments.

Tinyproxy is a small and fast HTTP/HTTPS proxy daemon for POSIX compatible operating systems. It is an ideal solution for use cases like embedded deployments where a full-featured HTTP proxy is required without the need for a large amount of supporting resources that usually come with them.

Tinyproxy has a small digital footprint and requires little by way of system resources. It can run on older machines, or even on a network appliance like a Linux based broadband router, without any noticeable impact on its performance.

Tinyproxy can be configured as a transparent proxy and be used without the need for client-side configurations. It can also be used as a reverse proxy at the front end of websites. Administrators can easily modify it to meet their custom web proxy requirements.

HAProxy is a free, fast, and reliable high-performance TCP/HTTP reverse proxy and load balancer. It is particularly suited for environments where high availability is required to handle high-traffic websites.

This proxy is so popular that it has managed to become the standard open-source load balancer. It has also become a standing feature that ships with most mainstream Linux distributions and is often deployed by default in cloud platforms.

Although the community edition of HAProxy is free, there is also the option for downloading the Enterprise Edition for more corporate-level performance.

7. Pound proxy application - by APSIS IT Security

Pound from APSIS IT Security is a lightweight open-source reverse proxy, as well as a program and application firewall that can also be used as a web server load balancing solution.

It is an HTTPS front end for web servers. It was developed to allow load balancing between servers that don’t natively have SSL Wrapper (an application for encrypting insecure network communication inside secure SSL tunnels) and also it has an industry grade authentication mechanism.

Pound is also a small solution that can easily be audited for security weak points or problems. It does not access the hard disk at all, unless it needs to read certificate files upon startup and poses no security threat to any machine.

Skipper is an HTTP router and reverse proxy designed to handle large amounts of dynamically configured HTTP route definitions. It can be used straight out of the box or extended with custom lookup, filter logic and configuration sources.

It identifies routes based on requests properties like path, method, host and headers using predicates. It also allows for the modification of requests as well as responses with filters that are independently configured for each route.

Apache Traffic Server 10 Best Open Source Proxy – Self Hosted Proxies

 Apache Traffic Server is perhaps the most popular  choice of top 10 Best Open Source Proxy – Self Hosted Proxies  as it is a modular, high performance reverse and forward proxy server.


Apache Traffic Server features are: 


  • Caching and cache Hierarchy where unfulfilled requests from 1 cache are routed to other regional caches. That aids with speed, lower bandwidth usage 
  • Web Proxy.
  • Reverse Proxy. 
  • Security (SSL termination).
  • Ability to configure Apache TS to use multiple DNS servers to match the site’s security configuration for verification. 

In summary this proxy server improves response times while reducing server load and bandwidth needs by caching and serving, frequently requested content and service calls. It is highly integrable and accepts custom APIs for unique requests and in house cache algorithm configurations.

Varnish Cache is a highly scalable, open source HTTP engine and reverse HTTP caching proxy that can help speed up website loading times.

One great feature of this proxy is its ability to protect against outages.  Even when the server fails, it continues to serve the cached content. It is also very flexible, enabling administrators to build custom solutions, rules and modules.

Top 10 Best Open Source Proxy – Self Hosted Proxies Conclusion

A reverse proxy server is a type of proxy server that is works between clients and back end servers (HTTP server such as NGINX, Apache web server) or application servers ( Node.js, Ruby or PHP). It is middle server that takes a client request and sends it to back end servers whilst fetching the response from the server and delivers it back to the client.  

We have read the list of top 10 best Open Source Proxy – Self Hosted Proxies. Self hosted proxies means someone on the client’s side will be responsible for their safety, maintenance and upkeep.

This is a networking component that plays an integral part in the security of your network. It is also responsible for the optimal performance of your connected devices.

This is why it is wise to always make sure a professional is responsible for the installation, configuration, management and monitoring of your proxy solutions. And that’s where we come in – contact us and let us show you how we can help with your choice of the top 10 best open source proxy servers.

Avatar for Liku Zelleke
Liku Zelleke

Liku Zelleke is a technology blogger who has over two decades experience in the IT industry. He hasn’t looked back since the day, years ago, when he discovered he could combine that experience with his other passion: writing. Today, he writes on topics related to network configuration, optimization, and security for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x