In order to create a VPN, I open an SSH tunnel with a command like
ssh -D 9000 user@host, and then I set my system's proxy settings to use SOCKS5 through localhost:9000. Well, setting up my home server with OpenSSH was easy enough, so I'm able to do this now and keep myself secure. But then I wondered, why not just host as a SOCKS server instead, and bypass the need to run the ssh command?
Is SOCKS an insecure protocol? Does this situation not make sense at all, or is it actually a good idea to set up my server as SOCKS instead of SSH'ing and creating a local SOCKS server? (I'm probably completely misunderstanding the role that SOCKS plays in the whole scheme, so please correct me)