The MySQL clients allow you to access a remote MySQL server pretty easily. You just specify the host name on the command line. But what if you want the data encrypted, for security? Or the data compressed, to improve data transfer speed? Or, more importantly, you want the MySQL server to be "locked down" limiting the range of systems that can access the MySQL server? Enabling the simple access to a remote MySQL server means configuring it to listen for connections from the entire world. Doing so is an obvious security risk.