One of the benefits of piping is that you can use it over networks and it does wonders for data transfer. Note that half of the command is executed locally, while the other half is executed remotely.
Compressed file transfer
You can copy files over the network in an instant. This archives the files into a
tar file, compresses it, copies it to the server, and decompresses it there:
tar cfz - folder | ssh user@enki 'tar xfz destdir'
Backing up data with dd
You can also create an image of your local data with:
dd if=/folder/data | ssh user@enki 'dd of=data.iso'