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A key issue impacting the performance of multi-hop wireless networks is wireless interference among neighboring nodes. In this paper, we study the impact of interference on mean delay and available bandwidth residing at wireless nodes and present a novel interference aware metric, named network allocation vector count (NAVC). The design of NAVC as a metric for the AODV routing protocols, as well as a metric for transmit power control are described in detail. Our simulations demonstrate the poor performance of minimum hop-counts routing protocols, and confirm that NAVC based routing protocol can greatly improve performance. The average throughput increases by up to 29% for UDP CBR traffic. For scenarios of densely deployed nodes, the throughput improvement is often a factor near two, suggesting that NAVC will become more useful as networks grow larger and paths become longer. These approaches are essential for emerging applications such as sensor networks where interference is heavy and bandwidth is limited.