Ok so there are a lot of different answers here and some of them touch on the FACTS but most are just opinion or "I read this on a site with a guy with big muscles on the picture".
I'll put this as simply as possible in a few points for you:
1. 100% Whey Protein will assist you in muscle growth as well as assisting partially in recovery between workouts.
2. 100% Whey Protein is NOT the same as eating the same amount of protein in whole foods (i.e. chicken, etc).
3. Protein powders can contain ingredients that you may not be able to take. (i.e. dairy)
Now a little more in depth (If you want some serious information then feel free to inbox me):
1. Protein is the nutrient that your muscles NEED to be able to grow. No protein, no growth. It's not just your muscles that grow from protein intake, it's everything - even your hair! During workouts your muscles "micro-tear" which is, as it is named, tiny little tears in the muscle tissue. This tissue then repairs bigger and stronger to try to deal with the stress you put on it in the workout previous. The building agent in this rebuilding is protein.
2. Consider your digestive system for a second; when you eat anything, your body digests it, it takes what it needs to be able to digest it and then the rest is distributed around the body to the correct places it is needed. When you drink something, your body still has to digest it, but it takes A LOT LESS energy to digest. Therefore, by taking pro dominantly 'liquid meals', your body is able to absorb the protein not only faster than through whole foods, but also a higher % of the 'in the mouth' nutrient quantity.
Nutrients absorbed = Nutrient in - digestion requirement
3. Pretty obvious but it is definitely worth mentioning. Protein powders can come in different forms of protein source. This can be egg protein, soya protein, and others. If you have an intolerance to something then make sure you check before ordering!
Ok before I head off I'd just like to give my opinion as I guess that's really what you're looking to get as well as facts:
Yes, protein is a requirement in my eyes but only after you reach a plateau or see considerable slowing of results. If you decide to go for it - Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey is what I would suggest. The prices are brilliant and a large tub can last you anything up to 3 months depending on how much you decide to take.
Good luck and inbox me if you need any help at all
p.s. Look at taking 0.25 X bodyweight in pounds per meal. More than this cannot be absorbed by the body and the excess will be wasted, literally. The only except to this is the "window of oppurtunity" which is a window of around 30-60 minutes after a workout that your body will soak in more than at normal rate - roughly double.
In short - normal times = 1 scoop, after = 2 scoops.