Svchost.exe is a generic process that "hosts" other processes (usually run as .dll's rather than as executables (like .exe)).
As such, the number of svchost.exe instances on your system will vary depending on which programs have called on it to "host" their "process". Some svchost.exe processes will only have 1 process running underneath it - while others may have upwards of 25 processes running underneath it. You can view these underlying processes by using this free program: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysintern...ssExplorer.mspx
Once it's installed, just hover your mouse over a svchost.exe process and it'll tell you what's running there.
Additionally, as Tomo2 has noted, they can run with different credentials (user accounts) - such as your User Name, Local Service, Network Service, System, and a few others. Each one has different abilities on how it interacts with Windows.
Finally, svchost.exe is usually located in the C:\Windows\System32 sub-directory. If it's located elsewhere (with a few exceptions) it may be a threat to your system - so you should ask for help in this case.
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