The Neuber company sells a replacement for the standard Windows task manager, which provides much more information about running processes and also assesses their potential as security risks. I don't have it myself but have seen it running, and it does a better job than Windows alone.
However, the other, and very helpful use for this site is that it lists all known Windows processes that you might find running in the background and potentially slowing down your machine. You may even have an unwelcome visitor or two that haven't been picked up by your anti-virus programs.
The site also allows users to post their own information about processes, which is better than just relying on a commercial source, I think.
Many Windows processes and services are unnecessary in most or all cases of home use, and can be shut down or removed to increase performance. This is a good place to discover what those obscure names in Task Manager mean, and from here you can then pursue further inquiries of your own into whether it's safe to shut them down.
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