I'd say export the databases and then have a cron SCP them over.
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Your backups aren't really any good. I mean if NOBODY is working on the site, and there are no open tables of any kind in a database you're fine. but if that's not the case it'll corrupt that table.
You're always better dumping.
By "nobody is working on the site", do you mean nobody is doing updates to the database, like working in phpMyAdmin or does that also include things like posting in a forum, inserting a few rows or changing a few values (things that constantly happen)?
The advantage of this approach is that restoring from a binary backup if quicker than importing the SQL dump. The downside (at least with MyISAM tables) is that this requires a table lock to ensure data consistency, though you might want to consider locking your tables using mysqldump anyways.