I am going to buy the Pi Zero (when they have more in stock...) and with only one USB port I need a USB hub to connect my keyboard, mouse, and WiFi dongle. I probably won't be connecting anything else in the near future. Will I need a powered USB hub to use these 3 peripherals, or will an unpowered one work just fine?

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    You will save yourself frustration and the cost of a second hub if you buy a powered hub. Many problems especially with WiFi dongles and the Pi itself can be traced to power issues. Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 22:42
  • So it is safer to assume I will need one in the future, even if it MIGHT be possible without a powered one?
    – doomslug
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 22:56
  • If you buy an unpowered hub for a few dollars less, but find out that WiFi is flakey with the unpowered hub and then have to buy a powered hub you are out the money and time spent buying and diagnosing the problem. Also if you buy a powered hub, you can down the road buy an unpowered one and can safely experiment knowing that any problems are the result of the unpowered hub and return it if necessary. Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 22:59
  • Similar question: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/q/38906/10590
    – Wilf
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 16:53

6 Answers 6


Like @SteveRobillard stated in his comment, it's probably best just to buy the powered hub first and save you the possible trouble of not having it in the first place if you needed it.

There are OTG [On the Go] hubs, which are micro usb. They work a bit differently than a standard usb hub, which uses a barrel jack for power. This one from eBay is extremely cheap, and it doesn't look like it has a slot for power, but the port on the far left (in the below picture) is the power port. It takes the standard micro usb 5V 1A cable, just like the Pi, so it shouldn't be hard to find a power cable for this hub, or any other OTG Hubs.

enter image description here

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    Mr. Robillard boy I feel old. Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 22:57
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    @SteveRobillard Sorry, meant that as a respectful gesture, I can change it. Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 22:58
  • Well thanks to both of you! I am kind of new to RPi and with everything I need to buy I want to make sure I do it right the first time!
    – doomslug
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 23:01
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    @PatrickCookthanks LOL and you can just call me Steve. Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 23:02
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    @Zachman In that case have you considerd buying a bundle (starter kit) from one supplier like adafruit.com Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 23:06

The Hubpixed is not a power hub, but it draws power directly from the main board and therefore you should be good. It does not require any cable or soldering and connects seamlessly to the Pi Zero.

Hubpixed - Raspberry - Pi Zero USB Hub

  • Welcome to the Raspberry Pi corner of the Stack Exchange network! That does look to be a useful solution to the limited number/selection of USB connectors on the RPi Zero.
    – SlySven
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 8:18
  • Thanks SlySven - the hubpixed is now widely available on amazon and ebay and has got very good rating and response. Primarily because of its unique design that does not need any cable or connector. Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 20:45

I advise you don’t fret and choose usb hubs, which has many ports with different connectors. I have this one. Model hi-speed 7-Port Ultra-Mini Hub provides USB ports for Plug-and-Play connectivity to USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 devices. Data transfer rate of this hub reaches the level of 480Mbps.


I reliably power my pi and ANYTHING I connect to it with a Transcend usb 3.0 hub. The usb 3.0 part does not benefit pi (yet) however, EVERY port is powered. I went through a couple of hubs to find this one.


I have had mine since March. I checked, its still available.


You may not need a powered USB hub for your setup, but there can still be advantages to choosing one over an un-powered model. Some powered USB hubs can be used to power the raspberry pi as well by plugging the raspberry pi into one of the USB ports on the hub. I prefer this because it leaves just one power cable going from your setup to the wall, and makes sure that your peripherals have plenty of juice.

This page shows a listing of many powered USB hubs with notes showing if they can be used this way: http://elinux.org/RPi_Powered_USB_Hubs

Personally, I went with this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005P2BY5I . It is tiny (same lenght as a Pi Zero, and just a little wider) and powers the raspberry pi with no problem. There's even a picture of this setup on the amazon page for this product.


Hubpixed has been upgraded to HubPiWi - It now adds Wifi at the expense of one USB port. Also adds support to the latest Pi Zero 1.3

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