No software installation is required. Once you've plugged in, you're ready to go! Your Device Manager should show a generic USB hub (or similar) under the USB connectivity setting. The only software you'll need to install is that of your devices.
External power could be selected at the flick of a switch on my test unit. If you have many devices, you may need to purchase an extra power pack. Most hubs provide a jack that can accommodate a DC transformer of around 5V.