SSH Tunnel similar a "poor" VPN (Poorman VPN). The protocol can also offering some features like VPN that do not need setting up server too complicated. However, SSH has some limitations.
VPN (Virtual Private Network) which is used to connect to the private network over a public network. VPN is commonly used for corporate, users can have a private network to share data, printers and other important things on this. Some employees may travel and frequent access to remote resources. However, businesses do not want to expose their critical resources to the Internet. Instead, businesses can be set up a VPN server for remote workers able to connect to the their VPN. When an employee is connected to the VPN server, their computer becomes a part of the corporate network.
VPN client (your PC) connect to the VPN server through the internet and transmission all the network traffic over a secure connection, this mean the competitors can not, third-party can not interfere to the connection and view your personal infomations or business infomations. If all traffic is passed through the VPN server, all middle of the VPN client and the VPN server could not interfere to the web flow. This is protect your infomations when using public networks (Ex: Wifi), allow user access to restricted services (Ex: access to some videos has banned for Germany), surf anonymous. Because with websites that you are browsing through VPN server, all traffic return your pc are from VPN server. So the website can not detect your identity.
SSH or Secure Shell is not only designed for forward network traffic. Often SSH is used to receive data safely by using a terminal session. But SSH also has some another functions. SSH also using encryption methods are highly secure and users able establish an SSH client become a SOCKS Proxy. Then, we can configure applications on your computer such as web browser to use a SOCKS Proxy. Flow into SOCKS Proxy running on the local system and SSH client forwarding it via SSH connection. This process is called SSH Tunneling. It works similar to the suft internet through a VPN, web traffic returns as coming from the SSH server. Traffic transmission between your computer and the server is encrypted. So users can browse the web via a secure encrypted connection as the VPN.
However, SSH Tunnel does not sure bring many benefits over a VPN connection. Unlike VPN, users must configure for each application that they want to use Proxy from SSH Tunnel. With VPN, all traffic will be sent through the VPN, but not sure for SSH Tunnel. In fact, I would recommend you use a reliable VPN service if you want to surf web anonymously and protects your privacy informations (such as loggin to your bank account). However, if you simply want to access to the restricted services for your region, you can use some free services and save your money. You must purchase around $5 - $10 if you want to use a Premium VPN service. Instead, you can using Proxy Servers, Socks Proxy or SSH Tunnel.