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You can use Let's Encrypt certificates for non-publicly reachable hosts by using the dns-01 challenge type. That, of course, means that you need some way of properly automating your DNS infrastructure to add the necessary TXT records which, admittely, is sadly not the case in many organizations. It's a solvable problem, though.

I don't understand your last point. Where do you see the problem with letting a reverse proxy talk to a TLS backend? You get the requested server name from the SNI extension and can use that to multiplex multiple names onto a single IP address. The big bunch of NATty failure cases apply to plaintext HTTP just as well, no?




Well the last point means that I need to rollout the cert to multiple servers (as the poster below writes)


In the most common setups, the reverse proxy usually terminates the TLS session and uses a different connection to make requests to the backend servers (e.g. nginx proxy_pass directive).

This means the backend server certificates are only ever exposed to your reverse proxy. There's no need to use publicly-trusted certificates for that. Just generate your own ones and make them known to the proxy (either by private CA cert or by explicitly trusting the public keys).




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