Load balancer vs API Gateway vs Reverse Proxy

Tarun Jain
2 min readMar 15, 2024

· Reverse Proxy
· API Gateway
· Load Balancer
· ALB + API Gateway — AWS
· ALB vs API Gateway

Reverse Proxy

  • acts a intermediary between client request and group of servers/server (acts as public face for the server)
  • forwards client request to the appropriate server and returns the server’s response to the client.
  • ✅ increased security — hiding identity of backend server
  • ✅ SSL termination
  • ✅ Load distribution
  • ✅ compression
  • ✅ caching
NGinx acts a Load Balancer and Reverse Proxy?

API Gateway

  • evolution in managing service oriented architectures
  • acts a single point of entry for a collection of services
  • handles tasks such as routing request, Authentication, Authorization, Monitoring and Rate limiting.
  • API gateway are especially important in microservice architectures — provides unified interface for managing complexity of multiple services
  • ensure secure and efficient communication between clients and services

Load Balancer

  • LB balances incoming network requests across a group of backend servers
  • ensures high availability and reliability by directing requests only to healthy servers
  • can dynamically add or remove servers as request volumes fluctuates
  • Uses various algorithms like — Round Robin, Least connection, IP hash to efficiently distribute client request and network load
  • ❓Question — Do servers respond directly to client or via a load balancer? if via a load balancer then is load balancer is a reverse proxy?
  • Steps for a load balancer —
    > Picks Appserver
    > Forward request to App server
    > Receive Response from App server
    > Forwards Response to Client

ALB + API Gateway — AWS


ALB vs API Gateway